Last week, Stanford freshman Brock Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. How unfair—to him.
At least that was the response of his father, who wrote a letter to the judge in the case, complaining that his son would have to face a lifetime of punishment “for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”
Those 20 minutes of action? To be specific: He guided an overintoxicated woman out of a party and, when she passed out, dumped her on the ground behind a dumpster, lifted her skirt, removed her underwear, lifted her shirt, exposed her breasts, digitally penetrated her, and was humping her mostly-naked body when two bicyclists spotted him and stopped the assault. For that crime, he will spend six months in jail and, upon his release, register as a sex offender. How unfair.
And, at least for a time, the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department seemed to agree by declining to release his mugshot after his arrest last year. In so doing, the office allowed Turner to avoid the public scrutiny inherent in a police mugshot. Until the trial, most news outlets had only a professional photo of Turner, smiling in a suit, to accompany the details of his rape. He was allowed the rare dignity of looking like a college student, not a perp.