News

Brock Turner sentencing draws strong reaction across country

Stanford releases statement amid petitions to remove judge in case

Reaction to last Thursday's high-profile sentencing of a former Stanford University student-athlete convicted of sexual assault has been fierce -- locally, nationally and even globally -- and included petitions for the judge's removal and calls for the university to apologize to the victim.

On Monday, the university released a statement saying it "did everything within its power to assure that justice was served" in the Brock Turner case.

Turner, who immediately voluntarily withdrew from Stanford after his arrest in January 2015, was sentenced to six months in county jail and three years of probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious, intoxicated woman outside a campus fraternity party. Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen noted following the sentencing that with good behavior, Turner will likely be released from jail in three months.

Many have since decried the sentencing as too lenient, particularly in the wake of a raw, deeply personal 12-page victim impact statement, written by the woman, Emily Doe, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy. The district attorney released the statement in full following the sentencing. It has since received global attention in numerous media outlets and on social media.

Several online petitions circulating across the nation call for the removal of Judge Aaron Persky, who handed down the sentencing. Two petitions in particular, with hundreds of thousands of signatures, urge anyone concerned about the sentencing to file official complaints about Persky's "appearance of bias toward a particular class."

One Change.org petition with more than 190,000 signatures and counting as of Monday evening calls the sentencing a "travesty to justice." It "failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors," the petition states.

By Tuesday morning, the number of signatures on the petition had almost doubled, and continued to grow.

On Monday, Stanford law professor and sexual-assault reform advocate Michele Dauber launched an official, dedicated website for the recall effort, asking people to sign up to help or to donate.

Monday's statement from Stanford, the first official, public communication from the university about the case since Turner's arrest more than a year ago, seeks to address "a significant amount of misinformation circulating about Stanford's role" in the case.

"In this case, Stanford University, its students, its police and its staff members did everything they could," the statement reads. "Stanford University takes the issue of sexual assault extremely seriously."

The university called itself "a national leader" in the implementation of prevention programs, training of students to intervene in assaults, support of students who have been sexually assaulted as well as the fair and just handling of cases.

The statement notes that Stanford immediately conducted a police investigation and then referred the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office for a "successful prosecution."

Stanford's first press release on the case, issued Jan. 28, 2015, stated that Turner would not be eligible to re-enroll and is prohibited from returning to campus.

Today, the university called that ban — which applies to Turner as a student or otherwise — "the harshest sanction that a university can impose on a student."

Stanford also said that once it learned the identity of Doe, a college graduate who did not attend Stanford, the university "reached out confidentially to offer her support and to tell her the steps we were taking."

Over the weekend, student group Stanford Association of Students for Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP) started a Change.org petition calling on Stanford to "immediately and publicly apologize to the survivor based on the fact that the attack happened on Stanford's campus and express support for her bravery and suffering," among other demands for more resources for survivors on campus and education related to sexual violence.

As of Monday evening, the petition had more than 8,000 signatures from students, parents, alumni and others across the country. By Thursday, June 9, it had more than 65,000 signatures and counting.

ASAP co-founder Matthew Baiza told the Weekly that he's "grateful" Stanford addressed the case publicly "because they should be leading in vocally supporting survivors and addressing issues of sexual assault."

The statement felt more reactive than proactive, however, he added. And while the university took the necessary steps to respond to this particular incident, the group's petition is "calling for a deeper look at the issues we still face on campus," he said, adding that he found out just last week that a friend had been sexually assaulted this year.

"It's heartbreaking to know this is still a normal occurrence," Baiza said.

"I understand that the university is trying its best to deal with these difficult issues but when its students identify concerns, I would hope they would continue to actively listen to the problems its students face," he said.

Tessa Ormenyi, a recent Stanford graduate and co-founder of student advocacy group Stand With Leah, said Stanford's "defensive" statement failed to do justice to the outcome and impact of the case.

"It's despicable that Stanford continues to defend its brand and practices without offering empathy to the survivor and sexual-assault survivors on campus," she told the Weekly.

Another Change.org petition that was first launched to ask Santa Clara County residents to recall Persky, who is running unopposed in the June 7 election, now urges anyone concerned about the sentencing to file complaints against him. Close to 27,000 people had signed in support as of Monday afternoon.

The woman who started the petition, Mya Stark, lives in Los Angeles and has no direct connection to the case but told the Weekly that after reading Doe's statement online, she had a "mad-as-hell-not-gonna-take-it-anymore moment" and felt spurred to action.

Rosen, who last week called the sentence "unjust," said in a statement Monday that while he "strongly disagree(s)" with Persky's decision, he should not be removed from his judgeship.

"I am so pleased that the victim's powerful and true statements about the devastation of campus sexual assault are being heard across our nation," Rosen said. "She has given voice to thousands of sexual-assault survivors."

Persky cited Turner's lack of a prior criminal record, "genuine" expression of remorse, 39 positive character letters submitted to the court on his behalf and the fact that he was intoxicated when the assault occurred as reasons to grant Turner probation. Incarceration, Persky said, would have a "severe" impact on Turner, particularly given his young age.

He said he considered Turner's intoxication a mitigating rather than aggravating factor "when trying to assess full culpability in this situation."

Persky also said while 12 jurors did not find Turner's version of events convincing, he did.

"The trial is a search for the truth. It's an imperfect process and there's ambiguity at each stage," he said.

Doe and the prosecuting district attorney had argued that Turner had yet to take full responsibility for the crimes he had been convicted of. Persky, however, said he was "not convinced that (Turner's) lack of complete acquiescence to the verdict should count against him with respect to his expression of remorse because I do find that his remorse is genuine."

Turner, a native of Ohio who attended Stanford on a swimming scholarship, is now 20 years old. He faced up to 14 years in state prison for the three felonies a jury found him guilty of in March. The prosecution had requested that he serve six years in state prison.

"I think you have to take the whole picture in terms of what impact imprisonment has on a specific individual's life," Persky said at the sentencing.

Turner apologized to Doe in court last Thursday and wrote in his own statement that he is the "sole proprietor" of what happened that night.

Describing how his life has been "shattered" by the events stemming from the 2015 assault, Turner wrote that he hopes to educate high-school and college students about the dangers of a college culture defined by "binge drinking and sexual promiscuity."

"I made a mistake, I drank too much, and my decisions hurt someone," he wrote. "But I never ever meant to intentionally hurt (Doe).

"I want to let young people know, as I did not, that things can go from fun to ruined in just one evening." Turner wrote.

In her written statement, Doe addressed Turner directly: "If you think I was spared, came out unscathed, that today I ride off into sunset, while you suffer the greatest blow, you are mistaken. Nobody wins. We have all been devastated, we have all been trying to find some meaning in all of this suffering."

The Santa Clara County sheriff's office also released on Monday afternoon Turner's more recent mug shot, taken after the June 2 sentencing. He was immediately remanded after the sentencing in Palo Alto.

Turner's defense attorney, Michael Armstrong of Palo Alto firm Nolan, Armstrong & Barton, confirmed that a notice of appeal was filed the same day Turner was sentenced. Dennis Riordan, a well-known San Francisco appellate attorney, was in court that day and will represent Turner in the appeal.

Calling the assault a "horrible incident," Stanford stated, "we understand the anger and deep emotion it has generated.

"There is still much work to be done, not just here, but everywhere, to create a culture that does not tolerate sexual violence in any form and a judicial system that deals appropriately with sexual assault cases," Stanford stated.

Read Brock Turner's full written statement here and his father's, here.

The Palo Alto Weekly has created Storify pages to capture ongoing coverage of the Brock Turner case as well as sexual-assault issues at Stanford University. To view them, go to storify.com/paloaltoweekly.

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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Comments

75 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm

To file a complaint against the judge, write a letter to:

Commision on Judicial Performance
455 Goldan Gate Ave, Suite 14400
SF, CA 91402

Cite the case and case number:
The People of the State of California v. Brock Allen Turner
Case #: B1577162

In the letter, you need to state why Judge Persky is biased or has the appearance of bias. Go to: cjp.ca.gov/file_a_complaint.htm for details


42 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 6, 2016 at 5:18 pm

Here's an excellent article on why California judges are so rarely recalled

Web Link

So it will be worth following Stanford Law professor Michelle Dauber's recall effort this time.

For what it's worth, more than 130,000 people -- a number that's rapidly rising -- have been outraged enough to sign the recall petition.

Web Link



40 people like this
Posted by affluenza
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 6, 2016 at 7:40 pm

Affluenza at Stanford.

Did you see Brock's father's letter defending his "20 minutes of action"? Washington Post news report: Web Link


29 people like this
Posted by Oscar
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2016 at 8:08 pm

Curious, that why if the author of this article attended the trial, that I believe she did, did not state the number of "legal tests" that Judge Persky took and subsequently explained in detail at sentencing, was not mentioned. The public outrage is understandable, yet might be different if all of the facts were made public.


5 people like this
Posted by Thomas
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 6, 2016 at 8:24 pm

[Post removed.]


76 people like this
Posted by Facts
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2016 at 8:54 pm

I commend the journalist writing this article, Elena Kadvany, for not calling this a "rape case." This was a tragic, sad, ugly, sexual assault case. As such, I find it deeply troubling that many (most) local, national, and global media commentators and outlets repeatedly call this a "rape case" and label the judge handling this case, Judge Aaron Persky a "rape judge." The vaunted New York Times is guilty of this. At best, this is sloppy journalism, and, at worst, it is downright inflammatory journalism. The petitions to recall or dismiss Judge Persky (purportedly drafted and signed by people incensed over what they read in the media) keep referring to "rape." The district attorney further muddied the waters when, as he publicly voiced his opinion that the sentence was unjust, he declared "rape is rape."

Here is the FACT paragraph of my post. Yes, rape IS rape. However, this wasn't a rape case. The defendant was charged with and convicted of several counts of sexual assault, not rape. The initial rape charges were dropped-- because there wasn't any rape. This was a sexual assault case. Go look up the difference between sexual assault and rape in the California Penal Code. Then, when you're done reading that, go read the sentencing guidelines for sexual assault.

Judge Persky heard all of the testimony, accepted the verdict, listened to the probation officer, and placed considerable weight on the victim's eloquent and heart-wrenching letter, wherein she described the trauma she has experienced after the sexual assault. There were a lot of factors for Judge Persky to weigh here, and the judge did what our society expects those sitting on the bench to do: hand down a sentence that is, in their opinion, most appropriate based on everything presented in court. Some people think Judge Persky was biased because he is white, male, and a former Stanford athlete, but this line of thinking is not too far removed from that where someone might think a judge of a certain ancestry is not qualified to preside over a particular case.

If our community really wants to shut down the rape culture, then it will confront Stanford University and the involved fraternity house(s) over the under-age and binge drinking environment on campus that enables a culture of drunken, sexual predation (the real rape culture) to coalesce. Where are the indignant Stanford law professors leading that charge?


58 people like this
Posted by #UnseatAaronPersky
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:06 pm

My husband and I are part of the outraged Stanford community. We both filed complaints against Aaron Persky, signed the recall petition, and wrote to the university. Judges who hand out unusually light sentences to [those] who are white, wealthy, ivy league, frat-boy athletes pose a true threat to equal justice. As for convicted [portion removed] Brock Turner and his father, they are both an insult to decency with their denials and adherence to old-school [portion removed] culture.

I was wondering if Stanford offered their CAPS program to the victim free of charge? They offer on-going therapy to their students who are sexually assaulted. I wonder if they offer free therapy to victims who are [portion removed] by Stanford students on campus?

Can the victim sue the [portion removed] and the university for damages? Hit them in the wallet, since the criminal court judge was so lenient. Just wondering... Bottom line: [Portion removed.] It is an assault. No excuses. Real prison time, not county jail. Years, not months.


30 people like this
Posted by #UnseatJudgePersky
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Professor Michele Dauber is leading the charge.


58 people like this
Posted by Research
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:15 pm

@Facts:

Well, I did check the CA penal codes. The minimum sentence for sexual battery is 24 months of imprisonment plus a monetary fine.

Web Link

This defendant received less than that. How is this sentence adherent to the law?


44 people like this
Posted by TruthBeTold
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:18 pm

Just go to show if your white and wealthy in America you can get away with just about anything. Where is justice? I used to believe that we had a balance system in America...the more that I study crime and punishments its become clear to me that the system has always benefits certain elite groups.


16 people like this
Posted by vmshadle
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:23 pm

vmshadle is a registered user.

"Facts" has a point regarding the legal distinction between rape and sexual assault. Perhaps what we in California need to do is re-examine the legal code. Emily Doe's published statement (not to mention the reaction of other women who have identified themselves as survivors of rape) makes it amply clear that one's psyche registers trauma, not the fine legal distinctions. One problem we could solve would be rewriting the criminal code such that the focus is on the effects rather than on the technical anatomic details regarding what went where. That, after all, measures the magnitude of the crime by what the PERPETRATOR DID, not what the victim actually SUFFERED.


20 people like this
Posted by vmshadle
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm

vmshadle is a registered user.

While I'm atop the soapbox, I want to point out that those who claim that Brock Turner is merely a scapegoat for all campus sexual assailants miss the critical point. There's a world of difference between scapegoating and prosecuting crimes the way they should have been prosecuted in the first place.


40 people like this
Posted by Chris M
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Did Prof. Dauber attend the trial? Did she attend the sentencing hearing? Did she read all of the probationary reports? If she did not do all of those things, then she has no grounds for criticizing Judge Persky or seeking his recall. In fact, for a law professor to react with such disregard for the functioning of the court leads me to question her suitability for a faculty position at a law school. Perhaps I'll start a change.org petition to demand that Stanford fire Prof. Dauber.


18 people like this
Posted by disgusted
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:28 pm

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by more
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm

[Post removed.]


21 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 6, 2016 at 9:39 pm

Here's some updated details on Prof. Dauber's official recall site.

Web Link

Latest Update: Stanford Law professor Michele Landis Dauber has launched an official site for the recall effort, please sign up here to continue being updated on how you can support. Our outrage IS being heard and IS having an effect, but if it fades away into short-attention-span Internet activism, it will not work.

Web Link


68 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2016 at 10:08 pm

It was not just the Judge who made a poor decision, but also the Santa Clara County Probation department, which recommended a 4 - 6 month sentence. People need to voice their concerns with the Board of Supervisors, and ask the Board if they are going to hold the County Manager and Probation Department responsible for what they recommended.


2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2016 at 11:10 pm

[Post removed.]


34 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2016 at 11:20 pm

Facts- the distinction between rape and other types of sexual assault are important. Since Turner was interrupted, rape didn't occur. But he *was* convicted of assault with intent to commit rape. That goes well beyond other forms of sexual assault and sexual battery. It's useful to note that sexual assault with a foreign object used to be called "rape with a foreign object", and that language is still used by many. That's likely why the DA muddied the waters - because in essence, she was raped, just not with a penis.
Here's a definition of rape:

noun
1.
unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.


12 people like this
Posted by Chaya
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2016 at 11:35 pm

Chaya is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


54 people like this
Posted by Michele Dauber
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 7, 2016 at 12:58 am

Michele Dauber is a registered user.

Dear Concerned Community:

Here is the official site to support the recall of this judge. www.recallaaronpersky.com

This recall is being spearheaded by Progressive Women of Silicon Valley, a registered CA organization that makes election expenditures on issues, and led by an experienced team of local election experts who are all volunteering our time. We have obtained the necessary expertise including highly qualified election counsel and we are moving ahead.

The first step is to let us know that you are interested in helping and if you want to help out and feel you can donate there is a link on the page to do that as well.

The second step is to gather the required number of signatures. We have no doubt we will succeed and that this will be on the ballot. All women have been made less safe on our college campuses by this dangerous sentencing decision. Please join us in ensuring that sexual assault is treated as a serious crime regardless of where it occurs or who the perpetrator may be. We don't agree with the way the judge applied the law and we don't agree that it reflects community values regarding sexual assault

None of the petitions online are part of the Progressive Women official effort. If you want to sign up to help or donate, please do so here: www.recallaaronpersky.com

Furthermore I hope that Stanford will publicly express remorse that this attack occurred on its property, express concern for the well being of the brave survivor, and offer to pay for her therapy. To my knowledge none of these things have yet occurred.

Michele Dauber




53 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 7, 2016 at 6:09 am

mauricio is a registered user.

One poster claims that this was far from a rape. I suppose this helps him or her justify to him/herself the ridiculously light sentence. The only reason this case was not tried as rape was that the two graduate students stopped this convicted felon from committing what the law regards as full rape. He still penetrated his victim with another part of his body, so this is at least aggravated sexual assault, distinguished from rape only by a mere technicality.


42 people like this
Posted by Tamsin
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2016 at 8:11 am

Tamsin is a registered user.

I hope the appeal causes an INCREASE in the criminal's sentence and to be served in a State prison . Also I support the idea that the victim of this terror is able to sue the college for a large amount . I think duty of care or lack of it should cover most of that . Don't they have any security on campus ?
This young woman was lucky that she was found by the two cyclists or the outcome could have been far worse.


88 people like this
Posted by Red with Anger
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2016 at 8:22 am

As a former victim in college, my attacker got away with his crime because I was wearing shorts at the time (it was AUGUST!)!
The judge at the time agreed that it was "seductive apparel" .

[Portion removed.]

Turner has been unremorseful and grossly dishonest. Evidence and testimony proved him guilty. The minimum sentence for the crime he committed is 24 months in prison--PRISON--not 6 months in county jail with three months off for good behavior!

Where did Aaron Persky get off thinking he could ignore the law of sentencing? This crime was exacerbated by the fact that Turner left her bloodied and bruised, attacked her when she was unconscious, lied, lied, and lied some more, showed no real remorse, [portion removed.]

The judge should have been disqualified from Day One as a former Stanford student and athlete. That fact combined with his ridiculously soft sentencing should make this a mistrial, as well as putting Aaron Persky out of a job!


3 people like this
Posted by Goober from Mayberry
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 7, 2016 at 8:35 am

[Post removed.]


29 people like this
Posted by Another Angry Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2016 at 10:30 am

As a mother to a girl who will some day go to a college and is a non-white minority, I am outraged by these events. For me, a lot more work needs to be done in addition to recalling Judge Aaron Persky. Number one, as Emily Doe states, since she was not able to recall the details of the assault due to her state of intoxication, the law allowed Brock to fill in the details. This in itself is ridiculous. Brock was himself intoxicated too, and yet he was allowed to fill in the blanks, whereas she was not.

With the state of the law being what it is, just imagine a situation where the attacker is not drunk and the victim is. Then there would be absolutely no chance for the victim to get justice!

[Portion removed.]

In short, until a time that the law becomes more equal for both genders, we will continue having more incidences such as these. We need to recall the judge, and then work to change the law.


37 people like this
Posted by outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 10:36 am

would charges against an african american non elite athlete from across the tracks also just get 3 months?


3 people like this
Posted by Ben Lenail
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 7, 2016 at 10:46 am

[Post removed.]


22 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 7, 2016 at 10:52 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Black men who are not athletes or rich, and poor white men caught with a couple of grams of cocaine for personal use while minding their own business and not engaged in violence against others, end up spending many years doing hard time in violent prisons. For all intent and purposes, Brock Turner received a light slap on the wrist, and if this judge thought he could get away with it, he almost surely wouldn't have given him any jail time at all.


38 people like this
Posted by Suze
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2016 at 11:08 am

Facts, I'm not sure why you are underscoring the fact that this is not a rape case. You seem to be suggesting that this is akin to him brushing up against his victim and groping her. Would you have us believe that the fact that he used a foreign object and his finger rather than his penis justifies a six month sentence? Would you excuse this sentence based on the fact that he was interrupted before he could accomplish a "true" rape? Before you answer, you might want to go back and check the statutes under which he was convicted and look at the sentencing guidelines for them. Oh wow. Surprise. They are the same as those for rape. They do not contemplate six months in county jail.


38 people like this
Posted by ItsDefinitelyRape
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2016 at 11:13 am

Great, I accidentally hit the plus button while scrolling and added a like to FACTS up above. There really needs to be a way to remove your likes. Well here's a fact for you "Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person's consent." SEXUAL PENETRATION. He assaulted her and raped her. [Portion removed.]


15 people like this
Posted by Dean
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2016 at 11:36 am

This case, as have most others that involved alcohol reveal a total lack of responsibility in the drinking of alcohol.

I am not a teatotaller, but I do believe in your own personal responsibility when it comes to imbibing alcohol. If you know, or haven't found out yet, how stupidly you act after drinking alcohol, you are being foolish to drink at parties. Men or women should always be careful to avoid drinking more than one drink, with friends or strangers.

The general guide for a responsible adult, is no more than 2 drinks a day for an adult male, and no more than 1 drink a day for an adult female. The California guide provided with each vehicle registration renewal shows approximately what your Blood Alcohol reading would be with different numbers of drinks. THIS IS ONLY APPROXIMATELY!!! Normally this drinking should be with a meal.

Even the distilleries, and brewers tell you to drink responsibly.

.


2 people like this
Posted by juan olive
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 11:41 am

[Post removed.]


18 people like this
Posted by solon
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 11:56 am

sentence was fair. it was within range of official probation report, up to one year in county jail.

judge was a DA, not lenient.

[Portion removed.]

intervenors prob did more harm than good to everybody.

what he did was wrong. 100% but responsibility is, she was wrong 100% also

it is illegal and immoral and a bad idea to voluntarily get so drink you can not be aware of your surroundings, in a position to care for yourself or others.

formerly, that itself could lead to dismissal from Stanford.

why does stanford allow any alcohol at all on campus?

"consent" is not the fine tuning needed, it is "drunk" that needs more attention


38 people like this
Posted by outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 12:11 pm

She was wrong 100 percent? Glad you were not the judge, you would have put her in jail!

[Portion removed.]


38 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Solon, is it a joke that you're saying the grad students who stopped the rape did more harm than good?? I guess they should have let Brock happily keep penetrating her with a foreign object?? If I had a car crash and was injured, I guess you'd happily drive on by and let me die of my injuries.

They were heroes for stopping this atrocity.

For what it's worth, one of the petitions to recall the judge has reached 370,000 and is rapidly rising; another 60,000.


28 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 7, 2016 at 12:32 pm

The judge should be penalized and law degree removed. [Portion removed.] Horrible. Turner must have serious "prison" time. Follow the law. [Portion removed.] I too have been sexually abused. Put him away and the judge as well. He broke the law too.


50 people like this
Posted by Recall Persky
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 7, 2016 at 2:08 pm

@solon is giving a nice summary of Judge Aaron Persky's reasoning. Unfortunately it doesn't make sense. The natural consequence for getting drunk is a hangover, not sexual assault. That requires a perpetrator, and it's a crime.

This woman is everyone's daughter, including mine.Take some action: Web Link


11 people like this
Posted by Rise Above
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 4:22 pm

For all the people who think the judge cannot possibly be fair and objective because he is a male or went to Stanford or was also an athlete then you sound a lot like Donald Trump railing against his court case. Education, integrity and professionalism are better defenders of the pillars of justice.

If you disagree with the judge's sentence, that is fine. However, if you want to blame superficial attributes of someone's background then it is still not too late to go to the polls and vote Republican.


21 people like this
Posted by Goober from Mayberry
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 7, 2016 at 4:23 pm

Who "moderates" this forum? Judging by the number of deleted posts, residents of Palo Alto have suddenly become foul-mouthed and threatening, or a certain "moderator" is gunning for a job in an opinion blog somewhere.

Way to foster an open discussion!


6 people like this
Posted by Whirligigs!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm

[Post removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by Moral to the story
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Two lives ruined. Drink in moderation. Watch out for your friends when you go out together.

Peace


26 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 7, 2016 at 4:55 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The judge never even tried to seem objective. He showed zero sympathy for the survivor, but was nearly in tears reading the rapist father's letter [portion removed.]


33 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 7, 2016 at 5:12 pm

Like the affluenza kid who killed 6 people and ran away to Mexico, the conditions of his parole bar him from being anywhere where there's drinking or drug use.

Today or yesterday the Merc published excerpts from the court filings that clearly show Brock outright lied about how unusual it was for him drink or do drugs.

Why was there such a delay in revealing the above and for publishing his actual mug shot?

I do hope Michele Dauber will use this and other forums to keep is informed about how we can help gather signatures and help in other ways with her recall effort.

To donate to her effort, go to Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Rise Above
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 5:19 pm

[Portion removed.]

So based on Mauricio's logic, victims can only be rightfully protected by someone exactly like them in terms of race, class, sex, education, astrologic sign and favorite color etc. (What am I missing?)

Wouldn't the defendants deserve the same or are we giving up on innocent before proven guilty? We can't have it both ways but I am glad Mauricio will selectively choose for his court of hidden prejudices and evil intentions.
[Portion removed.]


22 people like this
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2016 at 5:40 pm

[Portion removed.] The judge considered the circumstances, and gave his sentence. Now, Dauber is mad, and wants the judge's head, because she has the might of true belief on her biased side. Don't give it to her.


31 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 7, 2016 at 5:59 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

This case - and everything around it, including the father's unbelievable statement - is shameful and a blight on the reputation of the US and its justice system. The treatment of the victim and the way the perpetrator was 'excused' by the judge is the kind of thing you'd expect to find in some backwater countries where women have no rights and are treated worse than animals.

How could anyone not be shocked by this? It's shameful.


31 people like this
Posted by Oscar
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2016 at 6:06 pm

Facts I have learned:
1. The judge both quantified and qualified his sentence with references to numerous legal codes, and the test was met for a reduced sentence.
2. The Turner family is an average, middle class, Midwest family. Wealth is not a factor here, contrary to popular belief.
3. Dauber is ruining further lives by publishing letters to the judge in support of Turner [portion removed.]
If anyone is to be under attack (if you disagree with the sentence), it should be the probation dept. Not the judge, not the family.
People, until you've read the entire transcript of both trial and sentencing hearing (not to be transcribed for months), why such harsh judgments? Ahem, Ms. Dauber!
At some point, Stanford should remove their blinders and face head on the problems on their campus.


7 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 7, 2016 at 6:34 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


31 people like this
Posted by Losing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Why didn't Stanford make any sort of counseling available to the victim? Why have they offered her no apology, no assistance, no compensation?

Why is it that the victim in this case ( and the victims in other similar cases) seem to have less access to justice? Is there more accessibility of it for male sexual offenders than for female victims? Aaron Persky most
certainly robbed Brock Turner's victim of her fair share!


42 people like this
Posted by Rise Above
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 7:08 pm

What is shameful is when emotionalism of the mob rules.

Judge Persky has a distinguished career as a prosecutor focused on sexual assault. As far as we know, he ran a successful courtroom and there was no mis-trial or pathway to throw the verdict out on a technicality. He did his job and made sure all the rules were followed.

In this particular case, there was a conviction and the defendant's sentence is within the allowable range. Some people think it should have been more harsh but he is required by state law to consider mitigating circumstances when sentencing. Reasonable people can disagree.

So maybe he is a covert misogynist and member of the good ol' boy network as some critics would have you believe. Or, maybe Professor Dauber (Publicly known as a personal friend of the victim's family), with no experience as a trial attorney inside a courtroom is picking up the mantle of social justice warrior to promote her own career in activism. [Portion removed.]

It is terrible that this crime happened in our community and we should all have empathy for the victim. However, it is obvious that agitators are intentionally manipulating people in order to project broader social issues onto this case.




6 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2016 at 7:26 pm

The NY Times has an interesting article about Judge Persky.

Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2016 at 7:43 pm

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by nobody
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2016 at 8:20 pm

Looks like the Daily Post might get sued for the next 30 years by the family.

I learned that government causes as much or more unaccounted injury to individuals in our society as the oppression that Turner caused the young lady.

There was a time not long ago when sex related offenses drew smaller penalties, but more deterrent was needed so the ante was upped. I doubt Turner would do it again whether his penalty were six weeks or six months. If he were in a disfavored class, then sure the sentence would be much stiffer to threaten the others. The father is right - why destroy a life over a 20 minute event? What are the dangers to society from 370 thousand mob rule petition signatures?

I care about the young lady too. [Portion removed] this was likely the first heavy disruption in her life.

There are cases in which the judges shouldn't be defended, like when they do estate thefts, but this is a case to defend them.


41 people like this
Posted by Amazed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2016 at 8:49 pm

It is amazing to me that any parent in their right mind would ever allow their daughter to attend Stanford, given the rape culture and the statistics that show Stanford having an extraordinarily high incidence of sexual assaults.

Now, seeing how Stanford and the courts treat rape victims from Stanford, especially if they were victimized by Stanford athletes. Any parent would be insane to let their daughter attend such a school!


2 people like this
Posted by fact
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 7, 2016 at 8:52 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 9:08 pm

Nobody - the victim isn't a Stanford student. She was a recent college grad from Palo Alto. She's a member of our local community who went to a party at a local university and was sexually assaulted by an outsider who'd recently moved here to attend college. The rest of your comments are so abhorrent I won't even respond to them, except to say that if you thought that she was a Stanford undergrad, you may not be in possession of all of the available facts.


20 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 7, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Here's the SJ Merc article re Turner's having lied about his drinking and drug use in his plea for leniency.

Web Link

Someone please explain to me why this wasn't taken into account before sentencing.


19 people like this
Posted by nobody
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2016 at 11:15 pm

Hmmmm,

After reading her court statement a few minutes ago, yes I was wrong. I was not in possession of enough facts. It was truly a horror experience for the young lady that is much less forgivable than I imagined. Turner deserved charges of not only attempted rape and penetration, but also felony battery and abduction.

The sentencing judge should have given the victim's statement much heavier weight, but for some reason this did not happen. Was he prejudiced going into the sentencing hearing so he would not listen to anything new? Like he was conducting a staged event? Given the court and attorney harassment that the victim was subjected to, there had to be some sort of chilling effect on the victim saying anything until the last minute, which may have been prejudicially discounted by the judge who had likely read the probation report before the hearing. If you read section 166(8) of the criminal code, it can be a criminal contempt of court to express a view in aggravation or mitigation of sentence except through a certain procedure, which I don't know of and which she probably had to be told about. A good judge should therefore know that there is likely a "prior restraint" upon a crime victim to express oneself, and therefore a sentencing judge should make every effort to encourage and elicit a victim's views and consider them strongly. Emphasis - she was subjected to attorney harassment, nitpicking about anything about her. It wasn't Turner this time who mugged her - it was attorneys admitted to the bar of "good moral character and fitness", right? :P


31 people like this
Posted by Sad case
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2016 at 11:19 pm

The father's revised comment as given to the Huffington Post still shows that he is clueless. Twenty minutes is not a trivial amount of time even if the rest of Brock Turner's life was stellar. It doesn't matter if it took a minute or 20 minutes or a week. It's still a CRIME. In 20 minutes, a person can cause a lot of damage. It probably takes less time to rob a bank. In 20 minutes, a mass shooter would kill at least 20 people and probably many more. Should we give them a light sentence because their crime only took 20 minutes even if they were good citizens for the rest of their lives? Each of us, whether we like it or not, are accountable or should be for our behavior.

The "verdicts" have not torn the family apart, as Dan Turner said in his letter to the court. It was the the crime! This is complete denial. The judge was also quoted in news stories saying that it's an imperfect system in relation to the jury's verdict. That appears to indicate he thought the jury should have acquitted Turner, so it would seem that he decided to make Turner's sentence as light as possible and he had the parole board's recommendation to back him up.


23 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Jun 8, 2016 at 12:09 am

[Portion removed.]

Sadism lies at the core of psychopathy. Psychopathy is personality disorder and not a form of mental illness. For that reason, psychopathy is not treatable. Psychopaths think they are superior to most people and equal to God. Psychopaths are aware of how their vicious behavior affects other people. They just do not care.

All rapists are psychopaths. You cannot reason with psychopaths or rapists. Rapists have a lifelong compulsion to rape.

After Turner is released from Elmwood Men's Facility (in Milpitas, on September 2, 2016), it will do this again. If anything, it will come out of jail with newly-learned skills in the arts of deception and manipulation - in other words, worse than ever before. Counseling likewise makes this personality type worse.


10 people like this
Posted by JK
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2016 at 4:55 am

Would an editor or journalist modify the title of this article? You have strong reactions around the world, beyond CALIFORNIA! I live in the UK and my friends and family around the world are shocked with the light sentence of 6 months, which will end up be 3 months for good behavior. Thank you for setting up an example and making the state of California and the rest of the world a less safer place. This is not Syria but the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! Brock gets 6 months while the victim has forever.


7 people like this
Posted by COTWA
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2016 at 7:48 am

Check this out, Ms. Dauber...interesting take:
Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2016 at 8:12 am

The Judge's recall is today's topic in the NYTimes Debate Opinion Section.

Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Amazed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2016 at 8:46 am

[Post removed due deletion of referenced comment.]


14 people like this
Posted by Amazed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2016 at 9:10 am

Apparently, Nobody read one or more of the same articles that stated the victim was a grad student at Stanford.

That's media accuracy for you!

Still, I have to agree that because the crime was perpetrated by a Stanford student, and occurred on Stanford property, the school should have reached out to her with aftercare in the form of free counseling, perhaps an apology.


9 people like this
Posted by good summary
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 8, 2016 at 10:37 am

Looks like there's already a well-researched Wikipedia entry on the controversy:
Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Why is Stanford Liable?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2016 at 10:37 am

I agree that it would be a nice gesture for Stanford to offer sympathy and support for the victim. However, why would they be responsible?

If the same incident happened on University Avenue outside of a club would people be demanding the City of Palo Alto provide free therapy and counseling?


17 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 8, 2016 at 11:03 am

To "Why is Stanford liable?": Because systemic inadequacies related to the access, quantity, and control of alcohol took place on its property. An under-age student (the defendant) and a visiting non-student (the vicim, who was chaperoning her under-age sister) reportedly had enough alcohol at a Stanford frat (a campus sanctioned fraternal organization) that their BAC was 2x or 3x the legal limit. Your hypothetical asks what liability a city would have if a sexual assault took place outside of a bar. The answer is none. However, and herein lies the critical distinction, if the sexual assault took place in/on the bar's premises, the bar is liable to some degree.


43 people like this
Posted by House of Horrors
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2016 at 11:22 am

The greek system (Fraternities and Sororities) represent the worst gentry reinforcing anachronisms. Maybe they served a social purpose 100 years ago in rural colleges. But now they have no place in a modern campus except to maintain hideous behaviors for race, gender, and class elitism and prejudice.

I was walking on campus a few weeks ago near Lake Lagunita and several Frat groups were having loud parties and hazing their members. The boys were running around streaking and giggling with their shirts off and leaving beer cans and trash all over the grass.

How about starting a petition to shut them down? If Frat row was closed, maybe the sexual assault, under age drinking, vandalism and academic cheating rates would decline 80%.


25 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 8, 2016 at 11:31 am

I just watched Prof. Dauber's excellent interview om Democracy Now (starting at 44 minutes) and learned more about Stanford's history of treating sexual assault lightly.

Who knew they'd only reported ONE other rapist leading to criminal prosecution. Disgusting. Now wonder Silicon Valley is so often criticized for sexual discrimination and where harassment of women is tolerated at leading VC firms.

Enough already.


17 people like this
Posted by Mother Mary
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 8, 2016 at 1:40 pm

While I do condemn Turner's inexplicable behavior, I also wonder why nobody seems to take issue with the fact that the victim went to a frat party and drank herself into a state of unconsciousness. This was her own choice. In her letter, she rejects Turner's explanation that it all happened because he was drunk. But how about her? I clearly condemn his behavior, but this would not have happened had both been sober. [Portion removed.] The judge should not be recalled. Turner will be a registered sex-offender all his life. This is a super harsh penalty for a guy who is clearly not a rapist.


4 people like this
Posted by GSB Aluminator
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 8, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Seems silly to demand the University apologize. What occurred at a non curricular event is beyond the scope of the University's control. It would be like demanding the property owner/manager of the twin towers apologize for the catastrophe that occurred on 9/11. Both reprehensible to be sure. My heart goes out to Miss Doe and her loved ones.


12 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 8, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Maybe he won't be a registered sex offender all his life since Turner's family is fund-raising for an appeal to overturn even his absurdly light sentence. Even legal experts are horrified at the leniency of the sentence.

Yes, we're all responsible for our own actions but did you know that spiking drinks with "roofies" is so common that they now sell detector kits and nail polish that detects spiked drinks?


6 people like this
Posted by Anon.
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2016 at 2:36 pm

GSB Aluminator: Nobody ever flew a plane into the Twin Towers before 9/11, so the property owners had no inkling this would ever happen. However, under-age drinking, binge drinking, sexual assault, and rape (they are different crimes) have happened on Stanford campus before, so Stanford (and the fraternity) are all on notice that it has taken place and will, in all likelihood, take place again.


10 people like this
Posted by To Emily Doe - Survivor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Dear Emily Doe,
I am wiping away tears. I am so glad you wrote this.

I am not going to go on about wishing I could take the hurt away from you, because while I wish desperately that I could, your testimony makes so clear that the assault did not end that night, and that our society at so many levels must take responsibility for that. Our justice system in particular is used by the guilty to perpetrate further injury, in every arena of the legal system: criminal, family court, even civil matters. Lawyers and judges know this, recognize this, yet shrug their shoulders and do nothing to work toward a system that does a better job of protecting the innocent, including innocent victims of crime and their loved ones. I can't think of a more powerful example of the need for that than your testimony.

Who is examining the damage the legal process itself does to people, wielded as it is by so many who give themselves a moral pass for what is objectively vile behavior? Who is trying to fix the very system of "justice" for how it is used as an implement of unimaginable damage to those it is supposed to protect?

I know you did not sign up to be the one to change the world, but I am grateful for your willingness to seek justice in your case. I hope you and your case can be a turning point in this nation, so that our legal system can be a justice system. People should be able to be innocent until proven guilty without The Guilty being able to equate that to the opportunity to get away with whatever they can, with the players in the system aiding and abetting, no matter how much further harm they do to their victims. I am reminded of, and still angered by, recalling what Polly Klaas's murderer was able to say to her father in court, and heartbroken that nothing has changed. Your testimony makes a powerful and indelible case for why we, the bystanders in the broader society, must stop making excuses for the failings of our system - for its role in aiding the guilty to further injure their victims - and fix it.

Your assault that night was not your fault, but the assault you endured because of the system thereafter was OUR fault. We, your neighbors and nation, let you down. The police and medical professionals have worked hard to improve the treatment of rape survivors, that is evident from your testimony as well. Lawyers, doctors, judges, and We the People, must must take seriously the need to do something about the egregious damage the legal system can and does do to the injured in nearly every area of "justice".


5 people like this
Posted by To Emily Doe - Survivor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2016 at 2:55 pm

I'm sorry, I was trying to post to the story with Emily Doe's wrenching testimony. The above was my response.


9 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 8, 2016 at 3:01 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


23 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2016 at 3:38 pm

skinny is a registered user.

I agree with the reasoned observations made by Chris M., Solon, Oscar, Rise Above, and Mother Mary. There's been too much mob frenzy, distortion of facts by lazy media analysts, and purposeful manipulation by agenda driven SJW. [Portion removed.] I don't know either family, but I find it shameful that many people are so smug in their prejudiced, know-it-all, righteous condemnation of 1 party, of 1 family. I agree with the Judge - that Brock Turner was telling the truth. [Portion removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Oscar
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm

@Skinny....well said. Unless all of these negative commenters attended every minute of hearings, every minute of trial and every minute of sentencing, they can't possibly know all of the facts. So many conclusions made in these comments and in the national media are unsupported by facts. Please, everyone, hasn't this family been through enough? [Portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2016 at 4:14 pm

skinny is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


22 people like this
Posted by Violation
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 8, 2016 at 4:39 pm

What absolutely no men seem to understand fully is that rape/sexual assault is an UNWANTED AND VIOLENT INVASION OF PERSONAL BODY SPACE!

I think the only way that some men can understand it is if they have been forcibly raped rectally by another man--which is exceedingly rare, unless one ends up in a hardcore prison. That, too, is an unwanted, violent invasion of personal body space.


1 person likes this
Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 8, 2016 at 5:27 pm

[Post removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2016 at 5:33 pm

skinny is a registered user.

I'm not a male, Violation. I'm a woman, wife, parent, and a victim of sexual abuse as a child. I know full well from personal experience the harsh realities of "unwanted, violent invasion of personal body space." Based on my reading of the full text police report, what happened to Emily Doe was not what you describe. Read the police report yourself. Prior to her liaison with Brock Turner, Emily Doe went outside to pee with some other girls under a pine tree, crouching down over pine tree debris. There was no DNA from Turner found in her vagina or in her panties. Emily tested negative for legal and illegal drugs in her system. Emily's significant debility the night of 01/17/15 was her poor judgement - she chose to consume so much liquor at home and at the frat party that she had 3X the limit amount of liquor in her system. [Portion removed.]

SJW are positioning Stanford for a civil lawsuit no doubt "contributing to a rape culture environment at frat parties on campus." You wait. It's not Stanford's fault that our society has devolved into Hollywood's version of Life - i.e. permissive, alcohol and drug fueled sexually gratifying behavior because everyone does it, eh, or that's what we're led to believe.


7 people like this
Posted by skinny
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2016 at 5:42 pm

skinny is a registered user.

ndn, how long are people going to feast on the "20 minutes of action?", a phrase purposely taken out of context, and highlighted in an abbreviated version of Dan Turner's letter? Do yourself a favor and read the full text version of Dan Turner's letter. As a parent, I found it quite moving and sincere but that's just me. I don't have a dog in this fight.

Web Link


36 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 8, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Stanford's Fundamental Standard states:

"Students are expected to respect university policies as well as state and federal law."


Given that underage drinking is a clear violation of state law why does the University tolerate widespread violation of their Fundamental Standard?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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