Brock Turner’s Dad Says He Shouldn’t Be Punished For “20 Minutes of Action”

Last week, former Stanford University standout swimmer Brock Turner, 20, was convicted of 3 felony sexual assault counts for attempting to rape an unconscious woman behind a dumpster after a frat party. He could have been sentenced to 14 years; Judge Aaron Persky gave him just 6 months in county jail, of which he is expected to serve just 3.

The internet at large has shared outrage over Brock Turner’s very light sentence, which in my opinion is an insult to women everywhere, but this morning, we’ve got a new reason to rage. Yesterday a letter written by Brock Turner’s Dad, Dan, to Judge Persky pleading for leniency for  his son was posted on Twitter by a Stanford University law professor, Michele Dauber.

The letter is full of information designed to make you feel sorry for Brock, and is practically a manual for how to raise a child who will never take responsibility for his or her own actions.

In it, Dan Turner says that Brock Turner is depressed, that he will never again be “his happy go lucky self” and no longer has an appetite for his favorite foods like steak or pretzels. He says that the verdicts have shattered their family, and that prison time would be “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”

Really, Dan Turner? Did you not teach your child that actions HAVE consequences? It only takes SECONDS to make a bad decision to ruin a life or two, but your overachiever there gave 20 whole MINUTES of his best effort to ruin a young woman’s—AND his own. And yes, he SHOULD suffer the consequences for that. Sexual assault is not something you can just shake off, especially if you’re the one who’s been assaulted. That’s why Brock has to register as a sex offender and bear that label for the rest of his life. Because he made the choice to become a sex offender. He took advantage of a seriously inebriated and unconscious woman and that is against the law. Don’t want to go to jail for sexual assault? Don’t sexually assault someone. 

Mr. Turner, your letter tells me A LOT about why Brock did what he did. Clearly, he’s used to doing what he wants and not having to deal with consequences.

And his victim’s statement tells me a lot about what kind of person she is. That she could look your son in the eye and say the powerful words to him:

“Future reference, if you are confused about whether a girl can consent, see if she can speak an entire sentence. You couldn’t even do that. Just one coherent string of words. If she can’t do that, then no. Don’t touch her, just no. Not maybe, just no. Where was the confusion? This is common sense, human decency.”

Tells me she has a backbone of steel. Your sniveling letter about how your son’s future has been ruined and it’s totally not his fault has me guessing that Brock Turner is as weak as his “I learned my lesson about heavy drinking” defense.
KGO TV Brock Turner
Screen shot: KGO TV

Parents, the Bible clearly tells us we have a huge responsibility in raising our children. As we read stories like this, of privileged kids used to getting what they want breaking the law and crying “it’s not fair”—or worse, their parents saying it for them, it makes me realize even more how important it is for us to follow the command given in Titus 2:7: Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,  and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”

I realize that Brock Turner’s choice to sexually assault a young woman was not his father’s fault…but after reading his father’s letter, it’s pretty clear that he was brought up in such a way to think he’s the bee’s knees, that Brock is #1 and than anything he wants to do is a-ok. The term “affluenza”—the disease young people have today as a result of being handed ev-er-y-thing by indulgent, affluent parents—seems to really, really apply here.

So we’ve got some “evil things” to say about Brock Turner…because he DID some evil things.

And his dad thinks he’s already suffered enough for them.

The truly sad part about Dan Turner’s letter is that is pretty much worked on the judge. Though his dad pleaded for probation, Judge Aaron Persky did sentence Brock Turner to 6 whole months in county jail (not prison!). But he’ll probably only serve 3.

Parents. Let’s not worship our kids and teach them that they’re the best. Let’s teach them to RUN AFTER God’s best for them, and to put others first.

What do you think of Dan Turner’s letter? Do you find it as disgusting as I do?

 


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.