How long will it take for rapists to face justice? - Argus Friday 10th June 2016

Posted Monday 13th June 2016   By Ericka Waller

This week, Stanford student, Brock Turner, was sentenced to just three months in prison for raping a unconscious 23 year old woman behind a skip. Brock, 20, was found guilty of three sexual assault counts for the January 2015 attack; including the attempt to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, and sexually penetrating an intoxicated and unconscious person with a foreign object. These convictions could have cost him 14 years in prison, but But Turner was expected to spend only half of his six-month sentence in jail after the judge, fellow ex Stanford student, Aaron Persky, said positive character references and lack of a criminal record had persuaded him to be more lenient. Persky believes Prison would have a “severe impact on him”.

How severely disturbed must Brock be to penetrate an unconscious woman with a pine branch?

And how severely disturbed must school chum Persky be to give such a short sentence because of the impact prison might potentially have on the perpetrator? 

Who was the sentence protecting? Other women from Brock's predatory behaviour or Brock from repercussions to his privileged life?

The victim wrote an incredibly open letter to Brock describing the damage he caused in explicit detail.

Regardless of this letter, and the impact it has had on the world, Brock's father believes his son should not have to go to prison for “20 minutes of action”. 

I wonder how many minutes of 'action' would warrant a prison sentence? How many minutes does rape take for rape to be rape?  Brock's attack only lasted twenty minutes because he was interrupted, not finished.

Rape lasts a lifetime. 

The victim of Brock's attack woke up in hospital with no idea why she was there or what had happened to her. 

It had to explained to her by the nurses. She walked home in borrowed clothes and had to sit her family down and tell them the girl on the news was her. She had to break the heart of her family.

And then the court case. Question after question, fired at her to make her look unstable, to find some loophole where fault could be placed on her.

Imagine, standing in the same room as your attacker, while his lawyer cross-examined you to the level the victim describes below?

How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? But where exactly? What were you wearing? What’ d you do when you got there? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside? Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring.  How many times did you black out?  Are you sexually active with him? Would you ever cheat? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What color was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, well, we’ll let Brock fill it in.

All she did was go to a party and get drunk. 

Would the outcome have been the same if Brock's victim had been a man? Or if Brock had not come from a middle-class family? What is Brock had been a black man wearing a hoody? What would it have taken for the punishment to fit the crime?

How sad that in 12 weeks all Brook's privileges will be returned to him while his victim's sentence is for life.

And finally, when he was only slightly older than Brock, Cassius Clay came true on his promise to 'shake up the world’, after becoming the youngest Heavyweight Champion of the World.

There was no Stanford education for Muhammed Ali, as he later became known.

He refused to step forward to serve in the US Army on moral grounds, was tried and found guilty of draft evasion and sentenced to 5 years incarceration, and stripped of his title and boxing licence.

Ali has been named as one of the most important people of the 20th Century by Time Magazine and in Sports Personality of the Century, polled more votes than every other sportsman put together.

When asked how he would like to be remembered, he said it best himself. ‘As a man who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him. Who stood up for his beliefs. Who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. If that’s too much, I guess I’ll settle for being remembered as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was’

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