A former Stanford athlete’s light sentencing Thursday following his conviction for sexually assaulting a woman as she lay unconscious behind a dumpster has set the internet alight with fury.
The judge justified the ruling by saying, “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.”
Judge Aaron Pesky cited Brock Allen Turner’s age — 20 — and lack of criminal record when handing down the sentence. Turner was convicted of three counts of sexual assault in March, after he was discovered “thrusting” on top of an unconscious woman outside of a frat party in January 2015. Turner and the woman were discovered by two passing cyclists, who held him until the police arrived.
Turner’s victim, now 23, spoke to the court — and her attacker — in a long, passionate plea for sentencing that would set an example on how sexual assaults on U.S. campuses are handled.
“He has done irreversible damage to me and my family during the trial and we have sat silently, listening to him shape the evening. But in the end, his unsupported statements and his attorney’s twisted logic fooled no one. The truth won, the truth spoke for itself,” she read (see her full statement, provided by the Palo Alto District Attorney).
“This is not a story of another drunk college hookup with poor decision making. Assault is not an accident.”