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The ‘Legal’ Escape of Brock Turner

Brock Turner, the big shot aristocratic swimmer studying at Stanford University, has been released from prison.

Charged with the crime of a physical assault, Turner had been sentenced of six month imprisonment. But, by the end of the third month, on account of good behavior and a clear past record, he is freed.

The former swimmer’s sentence prompted an outcry, with critics saying the judge had been overly lenient and sex assaults on US campuses were not being treated seriously enough.

Prosecutors had demanded a sentence of six years in state prison.

Physically assaulting an unconscious woman, behind a dumpster, and fleeing from the spot when noticed, obviously does not come under the category of ?rape?. Not only did he get a tiny sentence for this ?inconsequential? act, but, the tiny sentence got even tinier.

Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky, handed Turner down this brief stay at prison because he feels that anything more than that would have had a severe impact on Turner.

Although he was found guilty of three acts of felony, his sentence did not treat him so.

Was it because of his class and his position in society? Oh, and not to mention, his dad?s too?

Turner’s father, Dan, also sparked outrage during the case, saying his son should not have been jailed for “20 minutes of action”.

Mr. Dan Turner obviously means that anything less than a few hours shouldn?t have put ?his dear child? in prison. What does he want? A rape? A murder? But even a murder can happen in less than 20 minutes; hence, if Brock Turner can get away with this, he can get away with anything.

During the time Turner was in jail, an estimated 75,000 American women have been raped, according to calculations based on US Department of Justice data. Of course, Turner is not responsible for those acts, but nonetheless, the light and lenient treatment he received sets a very bad example for people. Not only will the men think that raping will not cost them much, but at the same time, women would be reluctant to report anything because obviously, even if they do, the punishment defined by the court is way beneath severe.

But not to worry ? Stanford has ensured that ?good? men like Brock Turner don?t sexually assault or rape anyone again by banning hard alcohol at their parties, since we all know that vodka sodas, wine and beer are more to blame than rapists. The school even had a helpful page (now deleted because, oops, that was bit too offensive) on their website titled ?Female Bodies and Alcohol? to explain why drinking is different for women and women?s ?high-risk behavior.? This is a not-so-discreet way of blaming intoxicated women for getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape women and holding them accountable.

But who can hold Stanford responsible ? it?s not like they are the only ones blaming women?s alcohol intake for some men?s raping problem. Turner?s friend Leslie Rasmussen argued in a letter presented to the judge that he wasn?t a rapist because ?he was always sweetest to everyone.? She added that his future shouldn?t be affected by ?the decision of a girl who doesn?t remember anything but the amount she drank.?

The woman who pressed charges against Turner, identified as Jane Doe, artfully addressed this false equivalency in her own letter to the judge: ?Regretting drinking is not the same as regretting sexual assault. We were both drunk, the difference is I did not take off your pants and underwear, touch you inappropriately, and run away. That?s the difference.?

Stanford alone is not slogging the race of sexual assault. The Turner case shed light on the horrifying sexual assault epidemic spreading across the college campuses. National statistics show that one in five female students of the colleges have reported sexual assault but the schools decide to remain aloof to and deny the magnitude of the scenario. In fact some colleges show ?Zero sexual assault? cases where actually the situation is contrariwise.

The only silver lining to abate and gradually eradicate the rampant rape culture is that it at least inspired the California State Assembly to vote unanimously on a minimum sentencing for sexual assailants which is currently awaiting the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown.

Till then, the state requires to update its definition of rape to match the FBI?s, because under California?s current definition, what Turner did wasn?t even considered to be rape, which is somewhat in par with Turner?s dad?s statement, a mere ?20 minutes of action.?

So welcome back to this side of the bars, Brock Turner. You managed to fly out of the cuckoo?s nest faster than what it takes the food in my fridge to rot away!

– Contributed by Monika, a Student of Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English

Picture Credits: NBC News



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