Last week, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Brock Turner to a mere six months in county jail after he was convicted of three felonies involving the rape of a woman at Stanford University. Turner may wind up only serving as little as three months in jail. Two Stanford University graduate students saw Brock Turner, a 20 year old student at Stanford University, thrusting himself on the woman whom they described as “unconscious” outside of a fraternity party after having too much to drink.
The sentence imposed by Judge Persky is shamefully lenient and inexcusable.
Unfortunately, this victim will have to live with this tragedy for the rest of her life. The victim read a powerful impact statement in court saying the perpetrator “took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice…”
Giving lenient sentences to convicted rapists sends the wrong message. It tells victims that the judicial system does not value their privacy, intimacy, and that their body is not worth protecting. There are already enough obstacles for rape victims in coming forward to report their crimes. Rape survivors must face difficult interrogations, along with other invasive protocols, to prove the crime. When there is a victim with the courage to come forward and a conviction is obtained, it is shameful to issue a sentence like this. As a result, other victims become further reluctant to report their attack because they fear that the justice system will be unfair. It also sends the message to society that these crimes are not taken seriously.
There is an online recall effort to replace Judge Persky on account of the remarkably lenient sentence he gave to Brock Turner. The maximum sentence for Turner’s crimes is 14 years. The prosecutors asked for six years, but Turner got six months.
We encourage people to send a message to Judge Persky and judges throughout the country by reminding them that sex crimes are hideous, serious crimes and should be treated as such by the judicial system.
Farmer Jaffe sex abuse attorney Adam Horowitz has substantial experience representing victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault, please email attorney Adam Horowitz at [email protected] or call our law firm at (954) 524-2820.