Is the Brock Turner case as bad as it looks? Yeah, it is.

brock-turner-mug-shot

Brock Turner really is raping everybody out there

When it comes to commenting on court cases, I don’t get my information from silly clickbait blogs like Gawker. Instead, I try and pull the actual evidence and adduce what I can from it. Blogs like Gawker simply want people to click on links, and pander to the lowest common denominator.

Lately my Facebook feed has been filled with the name Brock Turner. The narrative going around is this: Brock Turner, a Stanford swimmer, pulled a woman behind a dumper, raped her while she was unconscious, and then ran away. After getting convicted, Judge Aaron Persky then gave Turner an extremely lenient sentence because he’s white and went to Stanford.

Of course, the internet was incensed. College rape, a white kid of privilege, a heinous crime, and parents who just don’t seem to get it. Then, of course, there is a powerful victim impact statement which has been circulated all over the internet, combined with a judge who seemed to favor a rich white kid and completely ignore her suffering.

When I first heard about the story, it sounded too outrageous to be true. However, most of what was coming up in my newsfeed were from sources that either aren’t typically credible or didn’t provide a lot of substantive information. So, I decided to do a little digging, using actual documents submitted in court.

After reviewing the evidence, police reports and trial documents, believe it or not, this one might be as bad as it looks…

According to court documents, this is Brock Turner’s version of the events, memorialized in an email he sent to his lawyer shortly after the incident occurred:

Brock Turner email


Warning
: some graphic sexual language is about to ensue:

Summing up Turner’s version of events, allegedly he was outside his frat house with his buddies and they met two ladies. He asked the woman if she wants to go back to his dorm. She accepts. On their way back to the dorm, they’re walking by a dumpster and she trips. He goes to help her up, she pulls him in for a kiss, and they start making out. He asks if he can finger her, and she says yes. He then grinds on top of her while still fingering her, claiming she was moaning. Two men approach, and Turner thinks he’s going to get beat up, so he runs away. The police are then called.

On it’s face, this does not sound very credible. But let’s keep going and read the police report…

Turner Police report

According to the police report, the victim was found by the police unconscious – breathing but completely unresponsive.

In addition, Stanford graduate Peter Josson witnessed the event while riding his bike. At first he thought the encounter appeared voluntary and consensual. However, just to be sure, Josson kept riding his bike around the area. Later, according to Josson, the victim appeared to be completely unresponsive and unconscious. Josson then approached Turner and the victim. At that point, Turner began to run, so Josson chased him down and detained him until the police arrived at the scene. The police thanked Josson and arrested Turner. Josson was so upset at what he witnessed that he cried while giving his statement.

After regaining consciousness hours later, the victim then gave a statement to the police saying that she did not recall leaving the fraternity house with anyone or having any sexual interactions.

What’s Turner’s defense? It later came out that the victim had a blood alcohol level of .24 BAC. According to the prosecution, the victim began drinking at about 10:30pm, where she had about four shots of hard liquor and some champagne. She arrived at Stanford at about 11:15pm. While at the party, she had two more shots and some beer. From there, the victim does not remember what happened, except that she called her boyfriend around 3:00am who said she sounded very drunk.

The prosecution didn’t even disagree with any of these events:

Brock Turner Prosecution Memo

That’s probably because the victim’s intoxication is entirely irrelevant under California law. According to Section 289 of the California Penal Code:

(d) Any person who commits an act of sexual penetration, and the victim is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act and this is known to the person committing the act or causing the act to be committed, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years. As used in this subdivision, “unconscious of the nature of the act” means incapable of resisting because the victim meets one of the following conditions:
(1) Was unconscious or asleep.
(2) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant that the act occurred.
(3) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act due to the perpetrator’s fraud in fact.
(4) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act due to the perpetrator’s fraudulent representation that the sexual penetration served a professional purpose when it served no professional purpose.
(e) Any person who commits an act of sexual penetration when the victim is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of three, six, or eight years.
(f) Any person who commits an act of sexual penetration when the victim submits under the belief that the person committing the act or causing the act to be committed is someone known to the victim other than the accused, and this belief is induced by any artifice, pretense, or concealment practiced by the accused, with intent to induce the belief, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of three, six, or eight years.

(e) Any person who commits an act of sexual penetration when the victim is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a period of three, six, or eight years.

In sum, the evidence revealed that Turner admitted he had sexual interactions with the victim. Peter Josson said the victim looked totally unconscious when he saw the incident, and when the police arrived, that’s exactly how they found her. The victim’s blood test, and her statements to her boyfriend, confirm that she was highly intoxicated.

Turner, at trial, then had the audacity to argue that he was the only one who could competently testify whether she was conscious or unconscious because he was the only one who witnessed the assault, therefore the prosecution can’t prove it’s burden. Despite two witnesses with first hand observations, medical evidence, and relevant circumstantial evidence.

Turner was found guilty under sections (d) and (e) of Section 289 of the California Penal Code. As he should have been – it’s a crime in California to have sexual interactions with people while they’re unconscious or unable to give consent.

But there’s more.

It turns out other women had made complaints of sexual harassment by Turner to the police just a week before this incident:

Turner Priors

According to the police report:

TURNER became really “touchy” and would not be directly on her “behind.” TURNER became really “touchy” and put his hands on [victim]’s waist and stomach. TURNER also moved his hands down onto [victim]’s upper thighs. TURNER did not touch [victim]’s skin. This went on for about fifteen minutes. [Victim] felt more and more uncomfortable and got down off the table. [Victim] said that she does not usually get “creeped out” by guys, but TURNER creeped her out because of his persistence.

Turner was trying to dance with [REDACTED] but she felt uncomfortable and left to go find some of her Stanford friends.”

…she recalled an incident where [Turner] was a little bit friendly with her and she felt uncomfortable and removed herself from the situation.

Nevertheless, after getting convicted, Turner’s family told the media what a great kid he is, and what a bright future he has. However, the prosecution presented evidence of Turner’s illegal drug use:

Turner Drug Pics

Great kid?

Brock Turner is a rapist, drug user, and criminal. Yet the judge decided to sentence him to six months, a complete deviation from the standard guidelines, of which he’ll probably serve just three anyway.

How… just… what?

If you’re interested in evaluating the evidence for yourself, all available court documents can be found here. I tried to focus on what I found most relevant.

In my opinion, this is a clear cut case of rape and the sentence is astonishingly low. It makes no sense.

A little more to the point, given Turner’s father’s victim impact statement saying that his son is being vilified for “20 minutes of action“, it’s obvious Turner has had no masculine role models in his life. If he had one, this situation would have been avoided.

Every man should know that if a woman appears extremely intoxicated, even if she comes onto you, this is how you handle the situation.

It’s not hard.

2 Responses to Is the Brock Turner case as bad as it looks? Yeah, it is.

  1. The father’s comment about 20 minutes of a crime shows how clueless he is about the PTSD rape victims suffer, often for the rest of their lives. I still struggle with sleep close to twenty years after I was raped. I was raped in South Korea working as an English teacher. I wrote about my response to this case in my blog. https://triciabarkernde.com/2016/06/11/recovery-from-rape-a-spiritual-in-response-to-the-sentence-for-brock-turner/

  2. Why is voluntary intoxication on the part of female not relevant. In no other area of criminal law does voluntary intoxication impose a duty on others to play nice with the drunk person and absolve the intoxicated from their conduct completely.

    If i get totally blasted at a bar and someone comes up to me and asks me for $100 and i give it to that person, not knowing the nature of my conduct, shouldn’t this person be charged with theft. I always assumed we wan’t consistency in the law.

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