Brock Turner’s dad says his son shouldn’t have to pay for “20 minutes of action,” laments his failing appetite
The woman assaulted by Brock Turner and insulted by the judge who sentenced him to six months in county jail wrote an eloquent victim impact statement that she read — face to face — to her attacker after his conviction. It’s been read by millions. It’s a compelling testament to the strength of the human spirit — and the ability to help others. She’s reaching out to help others even as she lives through her own very real trauma.
Brock Turner’s dad wrote an impact statement of his own, in the form of a letter he sent to Judge Persky ahead of sentencing. It’s so unbelievably tone deaf, it’s not hard to understand why his son doesn’t seem to think assaulting an unconscious body is wrong in any way. He’s never apologized for it. He’s only apologized for drinking. And his father seems confused that his son has to serve any time at all for assaulting a woman.
This letter is a mass of victim-blaming garbage that shows no one in this family has any remorse for what has happened. Trigger warning: every horrific victim-blaming stereotype exists here.
— Michele Dauber (@mldauber) June 5, 2016
“Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events of January 17th and 18th… his every waking moment is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression,” the letter begins. “You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite… I was always excited to buy 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.”
Oh, how sad. Let’s compare that to a part of his son’s victim’s statement:
“I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone. After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream. I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most. For over a week after the incident, I didn’t get any calls or updates about that night or what happened to me. The only symbol that proved that it hadn’t just been a bad dream, was the sweatshirt from the hospital in my drawer.”
Now back to the rapist’s father, and his complete disregard for what actual pain looks like:
“His life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life. 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,” he writes. He simply can’t understand why a sex offender would have to be punished at all. And 20 minutes of action? He wrote that to a judge? A judge who then gave Turner the most ridiculously lenient sentence imaginable? Rape is not “action.” It’s a violent crime. Should a murderer not be tried because the gunshot that killed someone took seconds to penetrate the body?
My god, this is not about how much your son drank. Mounting an unconscious body is not “action.” Did your entire family crawl up from the underworld? What the hell is wrong with you people?
“One more time, in public news, I learned that my ass and vagina were completely exposed outside, my breasts had been groped, fingers had been jabbed inside me along with pine needles and debris, my bare skin and head had been rubbing against the ground behind a dumpster, while an erect freshman was humping my half naked, unconscious body. But I don’t remember, so how do I prove I didn’t like it.” This is what his son’s victim endured. This is what he was caught in the act of doing.
“He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan. 17th 2015,” Dad writes. Even after three felony convictions he refuses to admit his son’s done anything wrong. His son hasn’t admitted it either. “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.” They’re still trying to spin this into a “sexual promiscuity” thing. It’s not. The most dangerous type of criminal is one who thinks he’s done nothing wrong. Where is the reassurance that he won’t repeat a crime he apparently doesn’t think he actually committed?
This is rape culture. And our children are not safe until we do something about it.