A Brooklyn music festival scrapped indie band Good English from its lineup after the group’s drummer defended Brock Turner, the former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.
In Leslie Rasmussen’s character statement to Judge Aaron Persky, she called the sexual assault “a big misunderstanding” and gushed that Turner, a friend since childhood, “was always the sweetest to everyone.” She also described him as a “good kid” and “not a monster.”
“I don’t think it’s fair to base the next 10+ years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges anyone against him. I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right,” she wrote in her statement, obtained by New York magazine’s The Cut. “But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists.”
The Ohio-based musician added: “This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot. That is a rapist. These are not rapists. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgment.”
Due to recent information brought to our attention, Good English is no longer playing Northside Festival.
— Northside Festival (@NorthsideFest) June 7, 2016
On Tuesday, June 7, one day after the note came to light, the Northside Festival in Brooklyn tweeted that “due to recent information brought to our attention,” Rasmussen and her sisters Elizabeth and Celia would no longer be playing as scheduled.
According to Pitchfork and Gothamist, other venues have canceled concert dates.
Rasmussen attempted to explain herself on Good English’s Facebook account, in a post that has since been deleted but appears on Pitchfork.
“I understand that this appeal has now provided an opportunity for people to misconstrue my ideas into a distortion that suggests I sympathize with sex offenses and those who commit them or that I blame the victim involved,” she wrote. "Nothing could be farther from the truth, and I apologize for anything my statement has done to suggest that I don’t feel enormous sympathy for the victim and her suffering.”
Turner was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault on Thursday, June 2, for his assault of an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Turner, a 20-year-old Ohio native, was sentenced to six months in jail followed by a three-year probation because the judge believed a longer prison stint would have “a severe impact on him.”
If you or anyone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing and recovering, and more.
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