Dear Judge Aaron Persky,
Hello there, Your Honor. You don’t know me, after all, you’re from Santa Clara County, California and I’m from Montgomery County, Ohio. If my home county sounds familiar to you, it might be because it’s the home of Brock Turner, the young man you sentenced to just six months in county jail for 3 felony sexual assault counts—charges the jury unanimously convicted Turner of.
Only 6 months! There’s a lot of outrage going on around the internet about that right now. And I gotta tell you, I’m not too thrilled about it, either. The Mercury News Peninsula reports that “With good behavior, Turner, 20, is expected to serve three months in county jail.” And where do you suppose he’ll go after his slap-on-the-wrist sentence?
I am guessing back into the protective lair of his parents’ house…just a few minutes away from mine in Montgomery County, Ohio. Pardon me if I don’t roll out the welcome wagon and throw a parade to welcome a former swimming superstar turned rapist home.
I really don’t need another sex offender on my block. Especially not one who preys on unconscious, incapacitated victims.
In your rendering of your verdict, Judge Persky, you said you took into account Brock Turner’s character and lack of criminal history when giving him just 6 months in county jail instead of the 6 years in prison the prosecution asked for or the 14 years you could have given him within the rights of the law. I know Turner said a lot of great things about how “one night of drinking can ruin a life” (how about TWO lives, there, Brock?) and that he had some super-great character witnesses, including his DAD, who said “He will never again be his happy-go-lucky self.” (No offense, to the senior Mr. Turner, but I should HOPE not.), but come ON, Judge Persky! Why does his past BEFORE the assault count for more than his actions during and AFTER the assault (he ran, you know that. Do innocent people run?)
Judge Persky, a jury of 12 of Brock Turner’s peers found him guilty of assaulting a woman who was unconscious due to intoxication. But Turner claims she WAS conscious and consented…and that he didn’t commit a crime.
You said in your verdict that he feels remorse, but I tell you this: he never admitted to doing anything wrong, so he CAN’T feel remorse. If you gave him a light sentence because you thought he seemed remorseful, you were WRONG. Especially since his attorneys say they are going to appeal his conviction.
I do not understand HOW, after hearing the victim read this passionate, powerful statement, after hearing her say:
“According to him, the only reason we were on the ground was because I fell down. Note; if a girl falls help her get back up. If she is too drunk to even walk and falls, do not mount her, hump her, take off her underwear, and insert your hand inside her vagina. If a girl falls help her up. If she is wearing a cardigan over her dress don’t take it off so that you can touch her breasts. Maybe she is cold, maybe that’s why she wore the cardigan. If her bare ass and legs are rubbing the pinecones and needles, while the weight of you pushes into her, get off her.”
HOW you could give Brock Allen Turner only 6 months for doing all this to a woman who clearly was unconscious.
In doing so, you have given approval for the victimization of unconscious women.
You have said, without actually using the words, “Well, honey, this wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t drank so much.”
You have told predators like Turner all over our country, “You can get away with a slap on the wrist if you just make sure she won’t be able to remember.”
You have inferred that rape doesn’t really count if it happens at a frat party.
And you have sent a violent sex offender on a short ride back to the hometown he shares with me, and my daughter.
You said you thought a prison sentence would “severely impact” his life.
Do you not think his cold assault on his victim has severely impacted HERS?
HIS LIFE NEEDS A SEVERE IMPACT.
But oh, I know, he says he’s going to change. He’s going to educate youth about the dangers of binge drinking! I’ll make sure to be first in line for the Brock Allen Turner “Behind the Dumpster” book tour. I can hardly wait.
You failed us, Judge Persky. You failed your constituents in Santa Clara County, and you failed women EVERYWHERE.
I’m upset and disappointed at your sentencing, but I’ll let God be the judge of you—and Turner. And I’ll pray he really DOES get his life together, since we’re going to be neighbors and all. I pray one day he meets Jesus, because only Christ can truly make Him new.
And in the meantime, I’ll also pray I don’t run into him at the grocery or on the streets of Montgomery County, Ohio. After all District Attorney Jeff Rosen described him as “a predator searching for prey” the night he assaulted our un-named survivor. And I’m not sure 3 months in county lock-up is really going to reform him.
Please do better next time, Judge Persky. Although I’m kinda hoping the voters of Santa Clara County aren’t going to give you chance.