A recently released transcript is offering a window into the mindset of a California judge who sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.
Turner faced a maximum sentence of 14 years, but Judge Aaron Persky of Santa Clara Superior Court sentenced him instead to six months. Prosecutors had asked for six years in prison. The controversial decision by Persky sparked outrage nationwide.
In the sentencing transcripts from the June 2 hearing, defense attorney Mike Armstrong said Turner “has never denied” digitally penetrating the woman but “in his drunken state, he remembered consent.”
The judge appears to believe Turner, 20, as he explains his sentencing decision by saying, “I mean, I take him at his word that, subjectively, that’s his version of events. The jury, obviously, found it not to be the sequence of events.”
While clearly saying “it’s not an excuse,” Persky says Turner’s legal intoxication is “a factor that, when trying to assess moral culpability in this situation, is mitigating.”