On January 2015, an unconscious woman was found on Stanford University’s campus behind a dumpster, with a white male on top of her thrusting his body against her. Two Swedish men biking through campus spotted the happening and intervened.
Brock Allen Turner, a 20-year-old freshman male attending Stanford University, was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault more than a year after the event. A California jury decided the rapist should face up to 14 years in state prison.
Turner was also a champion swimmer, who belonged to a privileged family and aspired to swim in the Olympics. Brock’s case was taken to trial, to determine his sentence, where his female victim addressed him directly, explaining her feelings and journey after being raped.
The victim, who has remained unidentified, explained in a 7,000-word statement, the journey since the first day she woke up in the hospital after being raped by Turner. Addressing not only her rapist but the whole system and the disappointment she felt when finding out about Turner’s light sentence.
Santa Clara County Superior Court judge, Aaron Persky, convicted Brock to three year’s probation sentence for the three felonies he committed. The sentence was based on Persky’s believe that “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him” and how he “thinks he will not be a danger to others.”
The now 23-year-old victim explains in her statement made viral by Buzz Feed, how the system benefits privileged males and doesn’t take into account the experience she has gone trough.
The 7,244-word statement was published on Monday by Buzz Feed and since then it has received more than five million views, the case has also made headlines and controversy among the internet.
A life ruined for ’20 minutes of action’
When making her statement, the victim asked to address the defendant on a direct matter and began to speak.
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today,” said the victim as her opening phrase.
In a low-tone, the victim explained how that Saturday night she planned on staying home, watching movies, reading and sleeping early. However, her younger sister was in town and asked her to join her at a college party. Although she had already graduated, she accepted.
“I’d be the oldest one there. I made silly faces, let my guard down and drank liquor too fast not factoring in that my tolerance had significantly lowered since college,” said the victim.
The day after, she explains waking up in a gurney hallway with dry blood and bandages on her arms. A deputy explained that she had been assaulted, yet she didn’t believe it until going to the restroom.
“I pulled down the hospital pants, went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing. I still remember the feeling on my hands touching my skin and grabbing nothing. I looked down, and there was nothing. Everything inside me was silenced,” stated the female victim.
The victim continued to explain the tests she had to endure while on the hospital, removing pine needles from her neck, hair, and body. Hospital attendants measured abrasions on her body removed pine needles that were inside of her and was full-body photographed for evidence.
Women in China are sharing photos of themselves in support of the Stanford rape victimhttps://t.co/6rCFkQ165Y pic.twitter.com/CtwSucmclk
— BuzzFeed UK (@BuzzFeedUK) June 9, 2016
On the written statement, she explains facing her sister, trying to remain calm and forgetting what happened. Until a week after headlines about her rape appeared in the media.
“I read and learned for the first time about how I was found unconscious, with my hair disheveled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and above my waist, legs spread apart,” stated the victim.
The emotional letter explained to Brock Turner how the victim felt, not knowing the person who touched her and why did it happen without her concern, the harsh process of telling her parents and boyfriend and the internal journey she had to go through.
Investigations and legal processes made the night of January 2015 last for a year, making the victim face Turner and his lawyer’s statements through the whole thing. The victim explained how Turner admitted to drinking but not to rapping and insisted it had all been consensual.
She explained how the court had been privileging her rapist safety above hers by giving him a lenient sentence.
“The probation officer weighed the fact that he has surrendered a hard-earned swimming scholarship. How fast Brock swims does not lessen the severity of what happened to me, and should not lessen the severity of his punishment. If a first time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be? The fact that Bock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency,” stated the 23-year-old victim.
Social controversy on the case
Rachel Marshall, a public defender in California, explained how her underprivileged clients would have never gotten that sentence for a less severe felony.
Marshall explains how the fact that judge Persky was also a Stanford graduate, from a privileged family “he saw a person with whom he has a lot in common: white, attending Stanford, top-ranked swimmer with a successful family,” Marshall wrote.
The racial double standard has made headlines on the Stanford case, but also the letter written by Brock’s father has caused serious controversy on the media. Brock’s father explains how his son’s life was “ruined by a 20-minute action” and how it is unfair to him, to have his life ruined.
Meanwhile, the victim explains the process she and her family had to endure after her rape, the process of anxiety and depression she has been facing, and how that has not been taking into account by Judge Persky.
Michele Dauber, who is a law and sociologist professor at Stanford, is part of a committee seeking a recall to judge Persky with a Change.org petition to remove the judge from his position, as of Wednesday the petition had gained over 240,000 supporters.
Dauber also criticized the letter written by Brock’s father on her Twitter account calling out the words he chose to describe the rape. While, several law-knowers have declared how Turner’s punishment doesn’t fit his crimes, and campus rape controversy has sparkled.
During the trial, Turner’s lawyers explained how a campaign against college drinking was being planned, to reach out to high schoolers and made them understand the risks of alcohol and sexual promiscuity.
“It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of promiscuity. By definition rape is the absence of promiscuity, rape is the absence of consent, and it perturbs me deeply that he can’t even see that distinction,” the victim addressed Turner’s initiative directly.
The case continues to make headlines, and a social media campaign against Turner continues to emerge, even though the victim’s identity remains unknown she has gained supporters from all over the world on the matter.
On Monday, CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield gave her entire time on national television to read the full statement written by the victim. As she read, she began getting emotional, looking into the camera and reading the victim’s words.
It is yet to see the development of petitions against judge Persky and if Turner or his lawyer make further statements about the case.
Stanford sexual assault victim backed by Lena Dunham and Girls cast – video https://t.co/SVSuD468jK
— The Guardian (@guardian) June 9, 2016
Source: Buzz Feed