I often think that there is very little any more stupid news stories than can surprise me. Disappoint me? Sure. Upset Me? Of Course. But genuinely surprise me? I usually tend to think there is nothing new that can possibly be worse than anything else I’ve already seen. And sadly, I am continuously proven wrong. The latest is everything concerning the sentencing of Brock Turner.
To catch up those that may have missed it. Brock Turner was a Stamford University student and athlete that was caught sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster after a Fraternity Party. He was caught by eyewitnesses. Not that it should ever matter, but there was no “he said, she said” to this case. He did apparently at one point try and say that she gave consent, but because she was unconscious and had no recollection of the event immediately afterwards, this was given zero credibility. Now the fact that they tried to blame the victim in this regard is not new, it is as common as it is sickening an automatic response and defense. Fortunately in this case, it did not work, and he was convicted.
But it was in the sentencing phase of this trial that things came off the rails in a way that I did not think possible any longer. First, Brock faced 14 years, but was given the embarrassingly lenient term of 6 months, because apparently the judge was more concerned that it would have a “severe impact” on him, while seemingly not nearly as concerned about the severe impact on the victim. I have to admit. I am stunned that in this day and age that thinking like this still exists, and exists in places of authority. We cannot get rid of a culture of rape, if the penalty is going to be a mere slap on the wrist. I would be even more outraged if he hadn’t been classified a sex offender, and will at the very least have to carry that shame and need to register with him for the rest of his life.
This would be bad enough if it stopped there. But it doesn’t. What just came out was a letter that the perpetrators father wrote to the judge asking for leniency, in what may be one of the most stunning displays of crass and vial displays of defending the culture of rape I have seen… maybe ever. He refers to the sexual assault as “20 minutes of action”, he cries for his son losing his appetite and “suffering” with worry and anxiety since the conviction. How the conviction has “broken” both Brock and their family. Finally he tries to lay the blame at binge drinking on campus and how that is the cause. Look, I understand that a parent is going to try and help their child in any way they can. But try as I might, I simply cannot wrap my head around how someone could lay this out there as a defense of sexual assault.
This has got to stop. We cannot continue to allow this sort of culture to continue in this country. It is patheetic, and the aloof way it is handled is nothing short of barbaric. A woman’s life is shattered, but we are going to be worried about “Poor Brock?” Are you kidding me? There is no excuse for that.
A friend did a nice job of “fixing” Dan Turner’s letter, showing who the real victim is and where the concern should actually be. You can see a copy of that edited version here.