Rape has become a very real issue in colleges around the country. There appears to be a type of rape culture where sexual assault is just part of normal life on a campus. Victims, advocates and even government officials have all gone to great lengths to bring attention to the problem. Unfortunately, it looks as if very little is being done about rape. The rate of sexual assaults on campuses has been increasing steadily to the point where special measures need to be taken to protect people.
Victims of rape pay a very heavy price for the crime. Rape can leave someone with psychological and emotional scars that never go away. Some people have been publicly shamed for being raped. Another common tactic is claiming that the victim was somehow responsible for the rape. This is meant to generate sympathy for the person who committed the rape. That tactic has actually worked in some instances. Entire fraternities frequently rally around male students accused of rape to state that the individual is actually a very nice person.
One case recently is showing many of the flaws in the legal system when it comes to rape. The case involves a woman at Stanford University. She was visiting the campus with a friend. The two decided to go out to a party together that night because they did not have much time to spend together. The woman had a few drinks. She met a student there named Brock Turner. The woman rejected his advances but eventually became very intoxicated. She became so intoxicated that she fell unconscious. This is when two men found Turner in an alley sexually assaulting the unconscious woman beside a dumpster. The men chased down Turner and held him until police arrived.
The case went to court in San Jose. Judge Aaron Persky heard the case. The judge seemed to be incredibly sympathetic to Turner. He listened intensely to the pleas from the boy’s father to show leniency. Persky disregarded a nearly 12-page document written by the victim outlining how the rape had changed her life over the years. Persky outraged many people when he decided that the student would serve just six months in a local jail for the brutal rape.
The outrage came from all sides against Persky. Most people wanted the man removed as a judge. This is when jurors in San Jose started refusing to hear cases in Persky’s courtroom. Persky even dismissed a robbery case before the jury was allowed to deliberate. That upset prosecutors in the area. Another sexual assault case was scheduled to be presented before Persky. The case involved a male nurse who raped a female patient while she was unconscious. The similarities to the previous Stanford rape case were striking.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen entered a motion to have Persky removed from the case. This is a rare move. Rosen even released a statement about the decision. He noted that the judge did not seem capable of objectively ruling on this type of case. He cited the dismissal of the robbery case as the primary reason. This action was welcome news to many people who had been hoping Persky would pay some price for his incredibly light sentencing of Brock in the Stanford rape case.
Although some people are happy about this situation, it still took an enormous amount of public outrage for anything to happen to Persky. He may very well handle other sexual assault cases in the future. There does not seem to be any official actions being taken to remove or punish Persky for his blatantly biased decisions. It is clear that Persky’s reputation as a fair and impartial judge has been permanently tarnished.