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Judge Gives Ex-Stanford Swimmer Six Months in Jail for Sex Assault Because Prison Would Have "Severe Impact"

Former Stanford swimmer Brock Allen Turner was charged with three felonies and faced up to 14 years in prison. Instead, he will spend as little as three months in county jail.
June 3, 2016, 7:50pm

In the early hours of January 18, 2015, two cyclists on Stanford's campus came across Brock Allen Turner, 20, sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Turner, who was a swimmer at the time and had met the woman at a frat party, tried to flee the scene, but the cyclists tackled him and held him until the police arrived.

Two months ago, Turner (who has since dropped out of school) was convicted of three felonies, including assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman (she was found to be three times over the legal limit). On Thursday, a Palo Alto judge sentenced Turner to a mere six months in county jail and probation, claiming that "a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him… I think he will not be a danger to others," according to The Guardian.

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The relatively short sentence came as a shock to prosecutors, who suggested a six-year prison sentence. In fact, Turner's maximum sentence could have resulted in 14 years behind bars. Instead, probation officials suggested six months, arguing that his lack of criminal record played a significant factor, along with their belief that Turner was genuinely regretful, according to sentencing memos.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Alaleh Kianerci chastised Turner for never admitting to his crimes. Instead, Turner merely made a vague and brief statement, saying, "Nobody deserves a single second of what I have caused them to go through… I want to express that I'm sorry for everything."

The victim, who was not a Stanford student, gave testimony—all of which is available here. "You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today," she said. "I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt."

She also added, "The fact that Brock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency."

It is anticipated that the sentence will result in Turner spending as little as three months behind bars.