A bipartisan group of lawmakers read the wrenching letter of a woman whose attacker was given a six-month jail term after sexually assaulting her behind a dumpster on the Stanford University campus last year while she was unconscious.
The victim’s emotional statement in open court to the defendant, former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, powerfully details how the assault has devastated her life. It was widely shared online and drew national attention to the case.
The expression of solidarity with the victim was led by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who was joined by more than a dozen others. It took almost an hour to read.
The case has attracted widespread attention and outrage after Turner, 20, was given such a short sentence.
“The sexual predator received a paltry sentence of six months in county jail, of which he will serve only three,” Speier said in her introduction. “We are not moved by the judge, who said a longer sentence would have a ‘severe impact’ on the offender. We are not moved by the felon’s father, who said that his son should not serve jail time for ’20 minutes of action.'”
The letter describes, in often painful words, the anguish and pain that the assault, investigation, trial and testimony brought upon the woman.
“What he did to me doesn’t expire, doesn’t just go away,” the women said in her statement. “It stays with me, it’s part of my identity, it has forever changed the way I carry myself, the way I live the rest of my life.”
Both Turner and the victim were intoxicated on the night of the incident.
“I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say, ‘See, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up.'”
Republished with permission of The Associated Press.