Reprinted from Mike Malloy Website
As students return to college this semester, it might be a good time to revisit the Stanford rapist Brock Turner, who was just released from prison a mere 90 days after his already appallingly brief six-month sentence. You remember Brock, he raped the unconscious girl behind a dumpster and molested her so severely they had to dislodge pine needles and debris from her vagina. Brock only stopped his assault when confronted by two grad students passing by, who were shaking and sobbing when they reported the horror they witnessed to the police.
Brock first denied the rape, then said the sex was consensual. Finally, he faced three sexual assault charges with penalties totaling 14 years in prison, but judge Aaron Persky gave the former swimming star a slap on the wrist, his heart softened by Brock's father Dan Turner's lament that his son didn't even enjoy eating ribeye steak anymore, since his arrest, and that a jail term seems awfully severe for "20 minutes of action" in his 20-years of life.
Lucky for Brock the good Samaritans interrupted his assault before it reached an hour, or left the victim for dead.
20 minutes of action. Rape is not an "action," Dan, like walking, talking, or swimming. Rape is an act of unspeakable violence that leaves permanent emotional and often physical scars. Sadly, Daddy's callous attitude is not that unusual anymore. Our culture has become so accepting of violence -- gun violence, police violence, sexual violence -- it's not difficult to believe that Brock's daddy really believed that his son was the true victim here.
The rape victim also made a statement to judge Persky. So the judge had two entreaties to weigh against each other. Let's take a look at some of the impact statements in those two missives. Here the victim describes waking up on a hospital gurney with no memory of how she arrived there:
"I was shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in. I was asked to sign papers that said 'Rape Victim' and I thought something has really happened. My clothes were confiscated and I stood naked while the nurses held a ruler to various abrasions on my body and photographed them. The three of us worked to comb the pine needles out of my hair, six hands to fill one paper bag. To calm me down, they said it's just the flora and fauna, flora and fauna. I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my vagina smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions.
"After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don't want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn't know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.
"On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger, and that I should get retested for HIV because results don't always show up immediately. But for now, I should go home and get back to my normal life."
And here is an excerpt from Dan Turner:
"I am writing this letter to tell you about my son Brock and the person that I know he is. First of all, let me say that Brock is absolutely devastated by the events of January 17th and 18th 2015. He would do anything to turn back the hands of time and have that night to do over again. In many one-on-one conversations with Brock since that day, I can tell you that he is truly sorry for what occurred that night and for all the pain and suffering that it has caused for all of those involved and impacted by that night. He has expressed true remorse for his actions on that night. Living under that same roof with Brock since this incident, I can tell you firsthand the devastating impact that it has had on my son. Before I elaborate more, I would like to share some memories of my son that demonstrate the quality of his character.
"Brock has an easygoing personality that endears him to almost everyone he meets. He has always been a person that people like to be around whether they are male or female. This has been true from the time Brock was in pre-school to today. I have never seen Brock raise his voice to anyone and he doesn't pre-judge anyone. He accepts them for who they are no more, no less. He has a very gentle and quiet nature and a smile that is truly welcoming to those around him."
And back to the rape victim:
"I was not ready to tell my boyfriend or parents that I may have been raped behind a dumpster, but I don't know by who or when or how. If I told them, I would see the fear on their faces, and mine would multiply by tenfold, so instead I pretended the whole thing wasn't real.
"I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn't talk, I didn't eat, I didn't sleep, I didn't interact with anyone. After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream. I didn't talk, I didn't eat, I didn't sleep, I didn't interact with anyone, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most. For over a week after the incident, I didn't get any calls or updates about that night or what happened to me. The only symbol that proved that it hadn't just been a bad dream, was the sweatshirt from the hospital in my drawer.
"One day, I was at work, scrolling through the news on my phone, and came across an article. In it, I read and learned for the first time about how I was found unconscious, with my hair disheveled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, that I was butt naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart, and had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognize. This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work. I learned what happened to me the same time everyone else in the world learned what happened to me.
"That's when the pine needles in my hair made sense, they didn't fall from a tree. He had taken off my underwear, his fingers had been inside of me. I don't even know this person. I still don't know this person. When I read about me like this, I said, this can't be me, this can't be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information. I could not imagine my family having to read about this online. I kept reading. In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive? I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings."