Last Thursday, former Stanford swim team star Brock Turner got slapped with a six-month jail sentence for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, a crime for which he was convicted in March. Over the weekend and on Monday, the horrific testimonials from the friends and family who (apparently successfully) begged for a lenient punishment began to drip out.
Turner was discovered "thrusting" on top of the now-23-year-old woman by two graduate students, who tackled him and helped law enforcement secure a slam-dunk conviction. But The Cut obtained a copy of the letter penned by Turner's pal Leslie Rasmussen, who somehow blames political correctness on college campuses for the whole thing:
I don't think it's fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn't remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him. I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn't right. But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn't always because people are rapists.
According to Rasmussen, Turner isn't a rapist, because, "This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot."
The woman even included a photo of Turner smiling so Judge Aaron Persky—who faces a possible recall campaign over issuing such a light sentence—would be able to see how sweet he really is. Turner "always had that huge, loving smile on his face," as Rasmussen put it.
As you might expect, Turner's father had similar things to say about his son's sentence in his own letter, where he claimed being branded a sex offender for good is "a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life."
The dad, Dan A. Turner, also goes so far as to complain his son doesn't like steak anymore:
His every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression. You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite. Brock always enjoyed certain types of food and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big ribeye steak to grill or to get his favorite steak for him. … Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist.
But according to Judge Persky, "A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him," as he reportedly said, adding, "I think he will not be a danger to others."
At Turner's sentencing Thursday, his victim—a.k.a. the "girl who doesn't remember anything"—read a version of a powerful letter describing (in graphic detail) the impact the rape has had on her life. The complete version of that letter has been making the rounds across the internet and on cable television early this week, which may explain Stanford's decision to release a new statement about the tragedy Monday.
"This was a horrible incident, and we understand the anger and deep emotion it has generated," the statement reads. "There is still much work to be done, not just here, but everywhere, to create a culture that does not tolerate sexual violence in any form and a judicial system that deals appropriately with sexual assault cases."