US sex attacker’s father sparks anger

The father of a Stanford University student convicted of
sexual assault has sparked outrage on social media by
saying his son should not have been jailed for “20
minutes of action”.
Brock Turner, 20, was sentenced to six months in jail for
sexually assaulting an unconscious woman last year.
The victim’s impact statement, which was read out in
court, was also widely shared on social media.
The judge expressed concern about the impact of prison on
Turner.
Prosecutors said that in January 2015, Turner had been seen
by two witnesses sexually assaulting the woman, who was
lying on the ground, unconscious, on the Stanford campus.
They said Turner had tried to run away when challenged by
the witnesses, but the pair had tackled him and held him
until police officers arrived.
A former top swimmer at the university, Turner was found
guilty in March of three felony charges. Prosecutors wanted
a sentence of six years in state prison for him, the Mercury
News reported.
His sentencing, to six months and probation, also required
him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
In an excerpt of a statement to the court before the
sentencing, Brock’s father, Dan, said his son’s life had been
“deeply altered forever”.
“His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and
worked so hard to achieve,” he said.
“That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of
his 20 plus years of life.”
Many Twitter users reacted angrily, both to the sentence and
the tone of the father’s letter.
Some 28,000 people have also signed a petition to recall the
sentencing judge, Aaron Persky, for passing what they called
a “lenient sentence”.
Mr Persky said a harsher prison penalty would have had “a
severe impact” on Turner.
In his decision, he said positive character references and
Turner’s remorse and lack of previous criminal record were
mitigating factors.
In an impact statement read out in court, the victim, now
23, addressed her attacker, saying his actions had left her
emotionally scarred.
She criticised Turner for not admitting the crime and putting
her and her family through an “invasive” and “aggressive”
trial.
Later, the victim told BuzzFeed she was disappointed with
the “gentle” sentence.
But “even if the sentence is light, hopefully this will wake
people up,” she said.
“I want the judge to know that he ignited a tiny fire. If
anything, this is a reason for all of us to speak even louder.”
District Attorney Jeff Rosen said “the punishment does not fit
the crime”.
“The predatory offender has failed to take responsibility,
failed to show remorse and failed to tell the truth.
“The sentence does not factor in the true seriousness of this
sexual assault, or the victim’s ongoing trauma. Campus rape
is no different than off-campus rape. Rape is rape.”

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