Outrage Over Stanford Sexual Assault Case

BrockA Stanford student's light sentence and father's appeal have outraged thousands. Brock Turner was a Stanford University student who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster and fought the case in court. Turner received a six-month sentence in county jail and probation, although the maximum allowable was 14 years.

The victim read a long letter to the judge, which has received almost 9 million views as of this writing. Her speech was impassioned and told her story: how she didn't know what happened to hear until she read it on the internet, how damaged she has been since the attack, and so on. It is an emotional, gripping speech that is difficult, but important to read.

Turner's father didn't help his son or the public outrage with his defensive letter, including, "That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life." ThinkProgress calls the letter "impossibly offensive," and most people agree. 

A letter to Brock's father challenges him to recognize: 

I need you to understand something, and I say this as a father who dearly loves my son as much as you must love yours:

Brock is not the victim here.
His victim is the victim.
She is the wounded one.
He is the damager.

In a statement, Stanford assured the public that the university did everything within its power.  

Discussion Starters: 

  • Optional: Read the victim's letter. What makes her statement so compelling? 
  • What's your view of the father's response? The public response?