There has been quite a large uproar recently revolving around the trial of Brock Turner. Brock Turner was found guilty of raping a young woman in January, 2015 behind a dumpster at Stanford University.
This trial has especially grabbed the attention of college students, as rape is unfortunately a topic of concern in college. According to a sexual assault statistic website, one in four college women report surviving rape or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime. Even though this is a large concern in colleges, there should never be contemplation about whether rape is okay or not. Any word that is not the word “yes” is not consent. This trial is making rape victims concerned about their safety as Turner’s sentence keeps getting shorter and shorter.
The victim recently confronted Turner in court where she read a bone-chilling statement which she later provided to BuzzFeed News. She began with “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today”. This line sends chills up the spine. Turner and this woman know nothing about each other. The woman, who was unconscious at the time that the rape occurred, did not even see his face until she confronted him in court. The only thing the woman knew at the time of the rape was that she was found behind a dumpster with her legs spread open and bare from the waist down. Imagine waking up after drinking a little too much at a party to that discovery. Imagine how scared this woman was after learning that she had been sexually assaulted by a stranger while she laid there unconscious.
The victim even admitted that she was willing to move past it once Turner realized what he did. Instead, Turner tried to fight against the rape victim trying to deny that he raped her.
What’s most aggravating about this trial is the fact that Turner’s jail sentence keeps getting shorter and shorter. Brock Turner was found guilty of sexual assault on three counts: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. The prosecutors asked that Turner be sentenced to six years in jail. The judge of the trail sentenced Turner to six months in jail but just recently lowered his sentence even more to only three months in jail. Three felony counts could have gotten him up to 14 years in jail, instead he’s getting only three months.
The judge’s reasoning for shortening Turner’s sentence was because his age and lack of criminal history. He stated “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him, I think he will not be a danger to others." Turner is being let off easy just because he is an athlete swimmer at Stanford University. The judge is overlooking the fact that he committed three felonies just because he is an athlete. It is like he thinks that since Turner is an athlete, he should not be punished as harshly. He believes that he is not a danger to others, but meanwhile, the victim had been scarred emotionally, mentally, and physically for the rest of her life because of this act of stupidity. All it takes is one time. Turner is learning nothing from this trial except for the complete false idea that what he did was not that big of a deal which is why he is getting a shortened sentence. He is not going to learn from this. He’s going to continue thinking that he can get away with it next time like he did this time.
It appears that this judge is trying to show that if you are a white male athlete, you can get away with things that are illegal. That is far from the truth and it’s disgusting that this judge is falling into the trap of believing that since he was innocent prior to this incident, that he should be let off easily. So what if a long sentence has a severe impact on him? He deserves it. Regardless on if he’s an athlete or not, what he did was wrong and illegal and it’s sickening that this kid is being let off easy. Whether someone is completely sober or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, if they see someone passed out, their first instinct should not be to rape that person.
Awareness needs to be brought to this subject but it’s hard to do so, especially in cases like these where this behavior is being almost encouraged instead of properly punishing Turner for what he has done.
Any rape victim does not just get hurt for that one day that it happens. These victims carry what happened with them for the rest of their lives. It affects them in so many ways. For anyone to think what Turner did was harmless, is disgusting. Race, gender, religion, class status, athletic status, or anything else should not even come into discussion when talking about sexual assault. Rape is rape, there are no exceptions.