Brock Turner, the former Stanford University student and champion swimmer who violently sexually assaulted an unconscious woman in 2015, and was infamously given an unusually lenient sentence by a judge who was later recalled because of that sentence, lost his appeal last week.In Buzzfeed News Claudia Koerner writes,
Brock Turner served three months in jail after being convicted of assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. That sentence sparked national outrage, as well as a recall campaign of the judge, from critics who argued it was far too lenient for the nature of his crimes.
Still, attorneys for Turner appealed his conviction, which required him to register as a sex offender for life. They argued there wasn't enough evidence to convict Turner, and claimed he was only guilty of "sexual outercourse" since his pants remained on during the assault.- Advertisement -
The California Court of Appeals didn't buy it.
On the night in question, in January 2015, two Swedish grad students bicycling by, Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson, were horrified to see Turner thrusting himself onto an unconscious, half-naked woman behind a dumpster. At first, they were not sure she was even still alive. The statement notes that one of the grad students yelled, "What the f*ck are you doing? She's unconscious!" upon which Turner fled. They tackled him and held him until the police arrived. Later, recounting the story, one of them was so overcome that he sobbed.
The survivor of the assault, called Emily Doe, wrote a statement which she read at the trial.
It went viral, prompting Vice President Biden to respond with "An Open Letter to a Courageous Young Woman," here are a few excerpts:
I do not know your name -- but your words are forever seared on my soul. Words that should be required reading for men and women of all ages.
Words that I wish with all of my heart you never had to write...
And I am filled with furious anger -- both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth.
It must have been wrenching -- to relive what he did to you all over again. But you did it anyway, in the hope that your strength might prevent this crime from happening to someone else. Your bravery is breathtaking...
You were failed by a culture on our college campuses where one in five women is sexually assaulted -- year after year after year. A culture that promotes passivity. That encourages young men and women on campuses to simply turn a blind eye...- Advertisement -
And you were failed by anyone who dared to question this one clear and simple truth: Sex without consent is rape. Period. It is a crime...
I see the limitless potential of an incredibly talented young woman -- full of possibility. I see the shoulders on which our dreams for the future rest...