No one in Brock Turner’s immediate family believed he deserved jail time after he was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on Stanford’s campus.
The letter by Turner’s father, Dan Turner, to Judge Aaron Persky was leaked earlier this week. In it, he says his son doesn’t deserve to go to jail for “20 minutes of action.” The sentiment is also shared by Brock Turner’s mother, sister and grandparents. An aunt also wrote asking for leniency, but she did not specifically ask for no jail time.
Turner was convicted on three counts of sexual assault in March. Two Stanford graduate students testified that they were riding bikes on campus when they saw Turner thrusting his body against an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. They said they had to chase Turner when he tried to run away and hold him down until law enforcement arrived.
Judge Persky announced last week that Turner had to serve six months in county jail, saying he feared a harsher sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner. The maximum sentence Turner could have received was 14 years.
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The victim of the sexual assault read a powerful statement to her attacker on the day of the sentencing, detailing the impact the assault had on her life and how she had woken up in the hospital hours after the assault with no memory and dirt and pine needles in her hair and inside her.
Turner’s mother, Carleen Turner, wrote a letter nearly four pages long and doesn’t mention the victim of the sexual assault once. Instead, she talks about her son’s childhood, how he asked a high school girlfriend to prom and his swimming and academic career for two pages. She then talks about how devastated she and her family has been since the weekend in January when Turner sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman.
“My first thought upon wakening every morning is ‘this isn’t real, this can’t be real. Why him? Why HIM? WHY? WHY?’ ” Carleen Turner wrote. “I have cried every single day since Jan. 18.”
She said she hasn’t been able to decorate a new home because she can’t bear to put up happy photos of her family. She said Turner was just “trying to fit in with the swimmers he idolized.”
She continues later that Turner will have to register as a sexual offender, and is concerned that he will have to register at the highest tier.
“Brock will have to register at the highest tier which means he is on the same level as a pedophile/child molester. There is no differentiation,” she writes. “The public records will reflect a Tier 3 so people will wrongly assume he is a child molester. I fear for his lifelong safety.”
Other members of Brock Turner’s family had similar sentiments, focusing on the impact on their family and not mentioning the victim.
“We were shocked, and stunned by the outcome and left to the only thing we could do — hold each other and cry. We still are in disbelief,” Turner’s grandparents, Carolyn and Richard Bradfield, wrote. “Brock is the only person being held accountable for the actions of other irresponsible adults.”
Brock Turner’s sister, 22-year-old Caroline Turner, also blames alcohol for the sexual assault. She also does not mention the victim, but says her brother “put himself in a situation and willingly participated in it.”
“Think of the extraordinary potential he has to be a voice in society and speak out against the binge drinking and sexual promiscuity that defines culture on college campuses,” Caroline Turner wrote. “His dreams were shattered in the course of an evening, but every action he took could have been prevented.”