PALO ALTO, Calif. — In a follow-up to a story FOX 4 recently covered online, in which a former Stanford swimmer was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at a fraternity party last year and received a sentence many felt was far too lenient, a letter from the man’s father has been brought to light.
The story became national news after judge Aaron Persky gave Brock Turner only a 6-month prison sentence followed by probation, saying that “jail would have a severe impact on him.”
The letter, which is included in the public court file, was read at Brock Turner’s sentencing by his father, Dan.
Dan’s statements have sparked outrage, and in many cases sheer disbelief, from many online after it was shared via Twitter by Michele Dauber, the Stanford law professor who helped draft new university procedures for penalizing sexual violence.
“As it stands now, Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events of Jan 17th and 18th. He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile. His every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression. You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite. Brock always enjoyed certain types of food and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big ribeye steak to grill or to get his favorite snack for him. I had to make sure to hide some of my favorite pretzels or chips because I knew they wouldn’t be around long after Brock walked in from a long swim practice. Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist. These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways. His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve.
The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work, and how he will be able to interact with people and organizations. What I know as his father is that incarceration is not the appropriate punishment for Brock. He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan 17th 2015. Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society and is totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity. By having people. like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of binge drinking and its unfortunate results. Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give back to society in a net’ positive way.
Dan A. Turner”
Dan Turner’s letter has been making the rounds on various media outlets, including the Huffington Post, which did a thorough feature on Turner’s request, calling it a “tone-deaf plea.”
Dan Turner’s full statement is available online.