Rape cases seem to be all over the news these days, and among these, one of the most publicized is Brock Turner’s story. Turner, a Stanford University freshman, has been charged for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster outside of a fraternity house in January of 2015. His victim’s statement later went viral, with emotional details about dealing with the aftermath of a rape, such as: “At the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own sexual assault, the article listed his swimming times. She was found breathing, unresponsive with her underwear six inches away from her bare stomach curled in fetal position. By the way, he’s really good at swimming.”
Turner was sentenced to six months in jail, leading to widespread protest across social media and against Judge Aaron Persky for taking into account Turner’s expression of remorse and his swimming career. Of those six months, he served three (released early for good behavior), and now faces further backlash for what many see as a mild sentence.
As Turner exited the Santa Clara County Jail, protesters jeered and held up signs. Guards gave him a package of hate mail that had piled up during his stay at the jail. His parents’ home in Ohio did not provide shelter from more taunts, as
demonstrators on the sidewalk held up signs saying, “Castrate all rapists!” and “If I rape Brock, will I only do 3 months?”
Turner has also been registered as a sex offender in Ohio, which prohibits him from living within 1,000 feet of a school or playground. His neighbors will be notified of his status as a sex offender with a postcard in their mail. Turner must also complete three years of probation, attend a sex offender management program, and give law enforcement information on his employment, telephone numbers, and Internet access. And his expulsion from Stanford has ended his world class education and swimming career.
Undoubtedly, Turner’s life is changed forever. Whether he deserves this punishment or far worse has been a source of widespread controversy, jumpstarting a nationwide discussion about the epidemic of sexual assault.