By Lauren Linhard – firstname.lastname@example.org
Brock Turner will be released tomorrow after serving half of his laughable six month sentence for sexual assault. For those who need a refresher on this disgusting display of rape culture – Turner enjoyed “20 minutes of action” (as his Dad called it) with an intoxicated, unconscious and unconsenting woman behind a dumpster at a Stanford college party.
Judge Aaron Persky, who requested a move to civil court since the case, didn’t want to hurt the sensitivities of the champion swimmer, so he tossed out two counts of rape because a “prison sentence would have a severe impact on [Turner].” Of course, the aftermath of rape also had a severe impact on Turner’s victim – whose incredibly powerful letter to him was published in Buzzfeed and gained national attention.
Despite there being two witnesses to the episode, who tackled Turner; despite there being evidence of redness and abrasions inside the victim; despite that no one could support Brock’s version of the story – He served only three months because there was a loophole in the law.
Current California law calls for a mandatory prison term in cases of rape or sexual assault where force is used, but not when the victim is unconscious or severely intoxicated and thus unable to resist. But things are about to change in Cali for the other Brock Turners out there.
An amendment now sits before Gov. Jerry Brown which would extend automatic denial for unconscious or intoxicated victims, taking the question of consent out of the equation for judge and jury in all sexual assault and rape cases.The law would also ensure those who are convicted of sexual assault or rape cannot be sentenced to probation instead of prison time.
The governor has until the end of September to accept or veto the amendment.
To put this into perspective: If this law had been in effect during the Stanford case, Turner would have served up to 14 years in prison instead of the length of a summer vacation.