Brock Turner, a former swimmer at Stanford University, was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault on Thursday, June 2, for his assault on an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. The 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.”
The light sentence sparked major outrage on the internet. After it came to light that Turner’s father, Dan Turner, wrote a lengthy letter to judge Aaron Persky — in which the senior Turner referred to the rape as “20 minutes of action” — it has been revealed that Brock’s childhood friend Leslie Rasmussen also penned a letter to Judge Persky in her pal’s support.
In her note, obtained by New York magazine’s The Cut, Rasmussen blamed Turner’s convictions on political correctness.
“I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of 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 against him. I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right,” she wrote to Judge Persky. “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.”
She then went on to argue that sexual assaults driven by alcohol are different than an assault in which a woman is abducted and raped.
“This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot,” Rasmussen continued. “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.”
As Us Weekly previously reported, two male graduate students were walking by a fraternity party on January 18, 2015, when they saw Brock on top of an unconscious woman. The guys tackled Brock after he attempted to escape, and then called the police.
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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