07
Jun
16

tough cookies

A couple nights ago on Netflix, I watched The Hunting Ground (2015), a documentary on campus sexual assaults and the efforts of most colleges and universities to suppress the reports of young people who go to campus administrators for justice. Frustrated at not being taken seriously, the young people have resorted to filing Title IX complaints against their institutions which, if upheld, would result in the elimination of all federal funding to their schools.

An estimated 200,000 of our kids each year are being sexually assaulted while at college. I became so incensed on the issue, I had resolved to write a post on the sexual assault epidemic on our nation’s campuses; but reprinting this piece of positive news is so much easier.

Critics are demanding the recall of Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky for sentencing former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to just six months in jail, plus 3 years of probation, for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster near campus. Turner, 20, could have gotten up to 14 years; the prosecutors had asked for 6 years. The 23-year-old victim said the legal system’s treatment of rape is skewed by male and class privilege. She said a light sentence is “a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults.”

Yet mild as this sentence appears to some, this case may represent a momentous paradigm shift in the shameful practice of male privilege being combined with athletic department hegemony and complicit institutional self-protection. Perhaps in the future, college fraternities will even be held responsible for their members’ parts in this shameful activity.

This case apparently was not successfully stonewalled by the administrators at Stanford, and the athletic department evidently did not succeed in blocking action; moreover, it got the support of prosecutors and made it into court. It was proven that Brock Turner, a promising student athlete, had raped the unconscious coed.

Now the dad is making excuses about his rapist son being held accountable for his actions. I say that Brock Turner got what he deserved and is probably a chip off the old block, to boot. Which brings up the most obvious question: where is the mother in all this?

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Ex-Stanford swimmer’s dad calls son’s 6-month sentence for sexual assault ‘a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action’

by Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News

June 6, 2016

The father of an ex-Stanford University swimmer who was sentenced to six months in jail last week for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman believes his son should have received probation because the 20-year-old has already suffered for “20 minutes of action.”

On Thursday, Brock Turner was given a six-month prison sentence for his sexual assault of a woman in January 2015 outside a fraternity party on the school’s Palo Alto campus.

“As it stands now, Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events of January 17th and 18th,” Dan Turner wrote in a reference letter posted to Twitter on Sunday by Michelle Dauber, a Stanford law professor. “He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile. His every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear and depression. You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite.”

Dan Turner argued that Brock’s loss of appetite and a swimming scholarship is punishment enough:

“Brock always enjoyed certain types of food and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big ribeye steak to grill or to get his favorite snack for him. I had to make sure to hide some of my favorite pretzels or chips because I knew they wouldn’t be around long after Brock walked in from a long swim practice. Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist. These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways. 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. The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work, and how he will be able to interact with people and organizations. What I know as his father is that incarceration is not the appropriate punishment for Brock. He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of January 17th 2015. Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society and is totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity. By having people like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of binge drinking and its unfortunate results. Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give back to society in a net positive way.”

Reaction to the father’s letter was swift, with many on Twitter condemning his argument as tone-deaf at best.

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Dylan Stableford is a senior editor at Yahoo News.

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3 Responses to “tough cookies”


  1. 1 elizabeth t.
    June 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Wait just a minute, Dan. What are you assuming about the “mother” role here? Just because a rapist’s father takes to the media, must the rapist’s mother be on stage as well? Is she supposed to “stand by her man” (choose whether that would be father or son)? Please don’t make assumptions about her absence, or about what it might mean. I think all we can assume she is not indifferent to what her son did.

    • June 7, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      I’m not suggesting that she’s “indifferent” to what her son did; in fact, I think she’s been put in a pretty tight spot by both her “men.” Yet I think it’s a pretty fascinating question to ask, what is the reaction of a mother to both her men’s apparent disregard for the sanctity of a woman-victim’s body? How does this square with the values she sought to teach her son? How does this square with her own experiences with men when she was a girl or young woman? Like it or not, she’s been thrust into the spotlight.

  2. 3 Daryl Watton
    June 7, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    My comments as regards the father is that if he feels the punishment is not appropriate for his son, a pulled punch in my humble opinion, he should get in line and wait his turn for better treatment. If he wants the line to move faster, the father should get involved with his money and influence and lobby for justice reform. Asking for special treatment while other citizens, equal in the eyes of the American Constitution and the words of the Founding Fathers, face harsher penalties for lesser crimes is depraved indifference.


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