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Former Stanford swimmer avoids harsh jail sentence after assault conviction: Why?


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 A former varsity swim team athlete at Stanford University has been convicted of sexual assault, but faces less punishment because the judge was worried for his well-being.

Brock Allen Turner has been sentenced to six months in jail, three months’ probation, and he must register as a sex offender. Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in January 2015; prosecutors wanted his sentence to last six years.

However, Judge Alan Persky said that a harsher sentence would “have a severe impact on (Turner.)”

District Attorney Jeff Rosen disagreed, saying in a statement that “The punishment does not fit the crime … The sentence does not factor in the true seriousness of this sexual assault, or the victim’s ongoing trauma.”

However, Turner’s father, Dan A. Turner, felt as though a tough sentence would be damaging for his son.

“His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve…That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life,” he said. He argued that Turner should receive probation, not jail time.

According to Rosen’s statement, Turner was seen by two witnesses sexually assaulting an unconscious woman who was lying behind a dumpster on the Stanford campus. When they called out, Turner ran away. The two witnesses pursued him, tackled him, and held him down until the police arrived.

Turner never admitted to the assault, but he offered a vague apology, saying to the victim that “Nobody deserves a single second of what I have caused them to go through. I want to express that I’m sorry for everything.”

Turner’s sentence was met with outrage, decried as nothing more than a “slap on the wrist.” In an editorial, the San Jose Mercury News said, “Brock Turner’s six-month jail term for sexual assault of an intoxicated, unconscious woman on the Stanford campus last year is a setback for the movement to take campus rape seriously.”

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