So uh… This is a thing.
In the few days since ex–Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was given a six-month jail sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, much of the internet’s chatter has converged on a heart-wrenching, beautifully argued, deeply felt statement the woman read to him in court. It’s a devastating account of the survivor’s revictimization during her trial, a powerful indictment of the lighter sentences imposed on white, wealthy sex criminals, and a haunting depiction of how rape culture exerts its influence on college campuses and in courts of law. The victim provided her statement to BuzzFeed News; the page been viewed more than 4 million times since Friday afternoon.
Now, the internet has an opposing letter to read: a defense of Turner reportedly written by his father, Dan. Posted early Sunday morning by Michele Dauber, a Stanford law professor and sociologist who led the school’s revision of its sexual assault policies in recent years, the letter appears to have been written prior to Brock’s sentencing to advocate for probation only, in lieu of any jail time.
So, just to be clear, this fuckbag rapes an unconscious woman, drags her through a year of court and litigation despite there being clear, incontrovertible evidence of him doing so (and as a result forcing his victim to relive the night over and over again, and have her worth as a human constantly rejected by the shitbag lawyer using the same tactics against rape victims one would expect we would have done something about by now), and faces six months of jail time.
In a county jail!
If that’s not enough of a slap in the fucking face, his father then proceeded to pen this disgusting little letter:
Notice how he never says “rape” or mentions the victim. Notice how he talks, not about rape, but about “20 minutes of action”, quite possibly the most disgusting euphemism I’ve seen this year. Notice how he acts like the guilt he faces is punishment enough - never mind that, to this day, his rapist son has not admitted or even acknowledged what he did and has never apologized to his victim.
Everything about this situation is beyond disgusting. I recommend everyone read the victim’s letter.
Does anyone think, even for a minute, that if this kid hadn’t been privileged or white, he would have gotten off with 6 months? Maybe so - after all, this 6 months still makes this one of the most heavily prosecuted rape cases, in the top 3% or so, because most rape cases never get prosecuted.
The judge seems to think he’s “not a threat to others”. I’d say the fact that he has never even admitted that he did anything wrong, blames the alcohol (rather than taking any responsibility for his crimes), and refuses to acknowledge his victim is evidence enough that he hasn’t figured that out, and I fear we’ll see this little bastard in the headlines again in a few years.
What a gigantic clusterfuck. Rape culture in action, ladies and gentlemen.