If you haven’t heard about the former Stanford student’s rape of an unconscious women behind a dumpster, then you’ve missed out on one the biggest injustices of the year. The rapist, Brock Allen Turner, proved once again that all you have to do to avoid serious jail time is be a privileged white male with expensive lawyers. And this isn’t just another case of he said-she said, not even close.
Fortunately, two passersby saw what was happening and intervened. They had to hold Brock until the police arrived on the scene. Meaning, that he was caught red-handed without a shred of doubt as to what happened. You might think he would receive at least a few years in prison, but not even close. He received only a six month sentence out of a possible 14 years. What could the judge’s reasoning have been to give this despicable act such a light sentencing?
In Judge Aaron Perksy’s own words, “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him…I think he will not be a danger to others.”, and I guess this is true, as long as those “others” aren’t women who expect not to be sexually assaulted by Brock. If you were wondering how a person could commit such a vile offense, his father’s letter to the university might shed some light.
Seeing how Dan Turner only recognizes his son’s crime as “20-minutes of action”, simply proves that the rape culture apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Obviously what is most important about this event is the rapist’s lack of appetite for ribeye steaks and pretzels, and not the tragic impact his crime had on the victim. It is deplorable that the father is more concerned with his son’s loss of swimming career and appetite, rather than holding him responsible for his actions. Instead, the father perpetuates the idea of blaming the victim and the culture of binge drinking. Being drunk is no excuse to rape an unconscious girl, and it never should be.
Brock’s verdict only proves that being a white male from a well-to do family is the only criteria you need to stay ahead of the law. If this young man had been any other ethnicity, or from any other socioeconomic background, he surely wouldn’t have gotten just a slap on the wrist. This injustice is just one more to perpetuate the culture of slut-shaming and victim blaming, rather than focusing on the problem’s source, the rapists themselves. Until people are held responsible for their actions, regardless of who they are, crimes like these will never get the justice they deserve.