Dear Judge Aaron Persky,

While I'm sure you have a difficult job -- deciding the fate of many people's lives and how much time they deserve behind bars -- you really, really screwed this one up. You allowed yourself to be persuaded by the background of Brock Turner instead of allowing yourself to be horrified by the present character of Turner.

A 23-year-old woman was raped behind a dumpster by Turner. This crime should carry a sentence of many years in jail. Instead, the Stanford student was only sentenced to six months in jail. Deemed "20 minutes of action" by the rapist's father (which is the crudest phrase to describe a rape) it is clearly all up to you, Judge Persky, to see this as a crime as well.

You must understand the following:

The fact that Turner's family had the money to hire a skilled lawyer should not matter.

The fact that Turner was an elite athlete should not matter.

The fact that Turner had the potential to compete in the Olympics should not matter.

What does matter is that Turner raped a young woman. For whatever reason, this coward felt he was powerful and entitled enough that he could rob the victim of her innocence and peace of mind for the rest of her life.

What does matter is that this woman will forever be impacted by what happened to her behind the dumpster. She will forever feel she has to constantly check behind her back. She will have difficulty trusting others, difficulty feeling as confident as she once was and forever fighting the label of "victim." All because of Turner.

What does matter, judge, is that rape is a serious issue in our country. In a case like this one that has taken the news by storm, the sentence handed down to the rapist should have been much tougher. It should have set the example that raping another human being is not OK. It should have made it clear that this nation does not have any sympathy for rapists. It should have made the victim feel that justice was served. This case and your sentencing did none of these things.

Instead, you handed the rapist an incredibly light sentence of six months, which is really three months pending "good behavior." The reason being? You believe "jail would have a negative impact on his life." Well, guess what? Jail is meant to do that. Jail is a place for people who are not safe for society. It's a scary place and it's where Turner should be spending many years of his life, suffering for the lifelong trauma his victim will have to live with.

Perhaps, you should re-read the victim's statement, judge. The horrible details she depicts are enough to give me nightmares and should be more than enough to make you realize Brock Turner deserves to spend years of his life in jail.


The concerned, enraged and horrified public