Turner's 6-month sentence in sexual assault causes national stir

Stanford: Brock Turner given ‘harshest sanction’ school could give

Social media criticism continues

UPDATE @ 1:30 p.m. June 7

Brock Turner received “the harshest sanction” Stanford University could give the ex-Oakwood swimmer, according to a statement.

“In less than two weeks after the incident, Stanford had conducted an investigation and banned Turner from setting foot on campus — as a student or otherwise,” the statement read. “This is the harshest sanction that a university can impose on a student.”

A jury convicted Turner of three felony charges stemming from a sexual assault that occurred after a fraternity party in January 2015. Turner was sentenced to six months in county jail in Palto Alto, Calif., for sexually assaulting an unconscious, intoxicated woman.

Meanwhile, social media criticism continues surrounding the letter submitted by Turner’s dad, and another letter submitted by a childhood friend.

New York Magazine obtained a letter from Turner’s apparent childhood friend, Leslie Rasmussen, a member of the band Good English. The letter, written to the judge who sentenced Turner, references their childhood in Oakwood.

“Brock has been a peer of mine since elementary school, and was a very close friend of mine for a few years in high school,” said Rasmussen, who noted Turner dated a mutual friend. “We all knew he’d swim in the [O]lympics one day. His family is a very respectable family in town.”

Attempts by this news organization to reach Turner’s father and Rasmussen were not successful. Rasmussen’s band’s Facebook page was deactivated.

UPDATE @8:08 a.m. June 7

A grad student who helped stop Brock Turner’s sexual assault on an unconscious woman is speaking out.

Carl-Fredrik Arndt said he and a friend were riding their bicycles when they happened to ride by the assault.

“She was unconscious. The entire time. I checked her and she didn’t move at all,” Carl-Fredrik Arndt told CBS This Morning. Arndt and his friend later told authorities they saw Turner on top of the victim “aggressively thrusting his hips into her.

“The guy stood up when we saw she wasn’t moving still. So we called him out on it. And the guy ran away, my friend Peter chased after him,” Arndt told CBS This morning.

UPDATE @6:05 p.m. June 6

The sheriff’s department, which had announced that it would not release the booking photo, changed course Monday afternoon in the midst of an outcry from news organizations about why the booking photo was unavailable. The change in course also comes a day after a letter, written by Turner’s father defending his son, triggered a social media backlash because of its contents.

Some websites, including jezebel.com, reported that according to the website Crimefeed, under California’s open records laws, mugshots should be released, but the laws are a bit murky. According to the site:

“The language does not explicitly stipulate whether the release of booking photographs (i.e. mug shots) is required or exempt. A 2003 opinion from the Attorney General reportedly said that “mug shots fall within the ‘records of investigations’ exemption” and therefore releasing mug shots to the public is up to the discretion of law enforcement. However, according to the First Amendment Coalition, “the California Supreme Court has explained that this exemption applies only to a record that ‘on its face purport[s] to be an investigatory record.’”

The nonprofit goes on to state: “Arguably, mug shots are not on their face records of an investigation, and may not be withheld under the investigatory exemption except where they are legitimately used for investigatory purposes.”

Jezebel.com reported that a spokesperson for Stanford said the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department did take a mugshot of Turner after his arrest but the department will not be releasing it. They did not elaborate on why the photograph is being withheld from the public.

Late Monday afternoon, The sheriff’s department reportedly said Stanford’s Department of Public Safety was responsible for releasing the photograph. Stanford previously claimed that the sheriff’s department was responsible for releasing the mugshot.


Social media is stirring about a letter by the father of ex-Oakwood and Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner prior to his son’s sentencing Friday in a sexual assault case.

Victim speaks at Ex-Oakwood swimmer’s sentencing

Dan Turner wrote that his son wasn’t violent, he referred to his son’s sexual assault as “20 minutes of action” and mentioned that his son doesn’t like eating steaks any more in his letter requesting probation instead of incarceration. The letter was posted on Twitter by Stanford law professor Michelle Landis Dauber, who blasted it as offensive.

Brock Turner, 20, was sentenced Friday to six months in jail in Palo Alto, California. He had faced up to 10 years in prison, and with good behavior, could be out in three months, the Mercury News reported. He also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and would have three years of probation following his release.

Turner’s sentencing was decried by many, including District Attorney Jeff Rosen, as too lenient, but Turner’s defense attorney said they plan to appeal.

He was convicted in March of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person; penetration of an intoxicated person; and penetration of an unconscious person. In January 2015, two people saw Turner, then 19, assaulting his accuser behind a dumpster on Stanford’s campus after a fraternity party. Turner ran but witnesses stopped and held him until police arrived, according to a statement released by Rosen.

Turner is a three-time All-American Oakwood High School swimmer and Stanford swimmer who had aspired to swim in the Olympics.

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