Stanford: Brock Turner Released Halfway Through 6-Month Sentence 

Turner was convicted for sexual assault of a young woman after they drank heavily at a fraternity party.

2 min read
Brock Turner (R) makes his way into the Santa Clara Superior Courthouse in California. (Photo: AP)

A former Stanford University swimmer, whose six-month jail sentence was decried by protesters as too lenient following his conviction of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015, was released from a San Francisco-area jail on Friday.

Brock Turner, 20, was escorted out of the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose, just three months after he entered.

Turner was convicted for sexual assault of the young woman near a trash bin after they drank heavily at a fraternity party in January 2015. He was charged with intent to commit rape and penetration of an intoxicated and unconscious person.

The case drew a lot of wrath when he was given a lenient sentence. Surprisingly, there was significant support for the offender as well, with his father making statements saying his son shouldn’t be sent to prison for “20 minutes of action”.

Turner’s case exploded into the spotlight when a poignant statement from the victim swept through social media and critics decried the sentence as too lenient. It prompted California lawmakers to pass a tougher sexual assault law and led to an effort to remove the judge from the bench.

Judge Aaron Persky, who drew criticism for sentencing  Turner to only six months in jail. (Photo: AP)
Judge Aaron Persky, who drew criticism for sentencing Turner to only six months in jail. (Photo: AP)

The judge believed a sterner punishment would have a “severe impact” on the 20-year-old, who was once an Olympic hopeful.

In response to the sentence, lawmakers in California are moving a bill through the legislature that prohibits anyone convicted of sexual assault in the state from being sentenced just to probation.

Sentencing a felon convicted of such a crime to probation re-victimises the victim, discourages other victims from coming forward and sends the message that sexual assault of incapacitated victims is no big deal.
Bill Dodd, California Assembly Member

While walking out of the main entrance of the jail, Turner kept his head down and didn’t acknowledge the media.

He must register as a sex offender for life and faces three years of supervised probation.

Police deputies will check on Turner periodically and without warning to ensure he has not moved out without permission from authorities. He also is barred from parks, schools and other places where children are expected to gather.

(With inputs from Reuters and AP.)

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