In March of 2016, Judge Aaron Persky of the Santa Clara Superior Court sentenced a then 20 year old Brock Turner to six months in jail. Turner was found guilty of three counts of felony sexual assault, of which the maximum sentence is 20 years on the federal level.
The People v. Turner case has since become an infamous cornerstone of the sexual assault discussion due to the relatively short sentence. Turner was released from jail after three months due to ‘good behavior’ according to the New York Times.
Judge Persky was then heavily criticized for his leniency. According to the New York Times, he was the first judge to be recalled by California voters in 80 years circa 2018.
Four years later, and Persky was hired as a JV girls’ tennis coach in the Bay Area. An online petition called for his resignation, putting Lynbrook High School in hot water for “perpetuating rape culture”, according to CBS. Persky was fired by the school due to concerns about negative media attention.
Within the same month, the victim from the People v. Turner case has also been drawn into the limelight. This time, it’s of her own volition.
The court statement of the victim from Turner’s trial, then known only as Emily Doe, went viral in the weeks following the sentencing. Her graphic description of sexual assault shocked millions, drew public outcry, and set the precedent for a then budding #MeToo movement.
Four years following the attack, Doe has revealed her identity in a memoir entitled Know My Name, set to release in full on September 24. She also released a companion short film called I Am With You, detailing the aftereffects of both the sexual assault incident and the trial.
Her name is Chanel Miller. She graduated from Stanford with a degree in literature, spoke of the mental and physical scars of Turner’s assault, and became a prominent voice in the online movement against campuses that foster rape culture. Her 7,000 word statement from the trial was read on CNN for over 20 minutes, on the House of Representatives floor, and in courthouses around the country.
Now, Miller is telling her story in full. Persky is receiving media attention once more due to the Lynbrook High controversy. But no matter the effect, Miller and Persky will forever be connected by the People v. Turner case.