Outrage Continues over Stanford Sexual Assault Sentence

Critics say the sentence is too lenient for the crime.

Some are calling for a California judge to be removed after they say his punishment of a Stanford University student convicted of sexual assault was too lenient.

Sexual assault victim’s advocates and many members of the public have criticized the six-month sentence handed down by California Judge Aaron Persky to a student who was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault.

Prosecutors in the case had asked for a six-year prison sentence for Brock Turner, 20, who dropped out of Stanford last year when charges were brought against him. Turner faced a maximum of 14 years in prison for his convictions, according to CBS News.

Turner, who was a star swimmer at Stanford, was discovered assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster outside of a fraternity party by two graduate students. The graduate students stopped the assault and the victim was taken to the hospital.

Turner admitted to sexually fondling the woman but claimed it was consensual and denied raping her. A jury found Turner guilty of three counts of sexual assault in March.

As part of the prison sentence, Turner will also have to register as a sex offender for life.

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The anger over Turner’s sentence was heightened by recent witness accounts to the media and the victim’s letters to the judge.

“She was unconscious the entire time,” one of the graduate students said of the victim that night. “I checked her and she didn’t move at all.”

The victim, who has not been identified, wrote a letter to the judge after the sentence saying she felt helpless and traumatized during the trial. “You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today… I don’t want my body anymore. I am terrified of it.”

The victim’s prosecutor described the punishment as “a slap on the wrist.”

Judge Persky, who has said the defendant’s age and lack of criminal history played a part in his decision, is currently running unopposed for re-election.

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