Statements From Brock Turner’s Father, Victim Spark Outrage Over Sentence

Court statements from Brock Turner‘s father and the woman he was convicted of sexually assaulting have stirred up criticism over the length of Turner’s jail sentence and the status of sexual assault within public conversation.

Turner is a former Stanford swimmer who was convicted of three felony sexual assault charges this spring. Last Friday, the 20-year-old Turner was sentenced to 6 months in county jail along with probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Since the sentencing, court statements from both his father and his victim have been published over a wide range of media outlets, setting off a firestorm of criticism over the sentence and conversation about the issue of sexual assault.

The victim – whose name has been kept anonymous during the proceedings – gave a 12-page victim statement recounting her experience and speaking directly to Turner, who she feels “has failed to exhibit sincere remorse or responsibility for his conduct.”

The 23-year-old victim, known as “Emily Doe” in the proceedings, provided her full statement to BuzzFeed News last Friday.

You can read the full statement here. We’ve republished a short excerpt below:

I was not ready to tell my boyfriend or parents that actually, I may have been raped behind a dumpster, but I don’t know by who or when or how. If I told them, I would see the fear on their faces, and mine would multiply by tenfold, so instead I pretended the whole thing wasn’t real.

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 one 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.

Instead of taking time to heal, I was taking time to recall the night in excruciating detail, in order to prepare for the attorney’s questions that would be invasive, aggressive, and designed to steer me off course, to contradict myself, my sister, phrased in ways to manipulate my answers. Instead of his attorney saying, Did you notice any abrasions? He said, You didn’t notice any abrasions, right? This was a game of strategy, as if I could be tricked out of my own worth. The sexual assault had been so clear, but instead, here I was at the trial, answering question like:

How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What’ d you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside? Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring. Did you drink in college? You said you were a party animal? How many times did you black out? Did you party at frats? Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating? What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What color was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, we’ll let Brock fill it in.

Then over the weekend, media outlets began reporting on a statement made by Dan Turner, Brock Turner‘s father. A photo of an excerpt of Dan Turner’s statement appeared on the Twitter profile of Michele Dauber, who is a Stanford law professor according to The Guardian‘s report on the statement.

As of now, we’ve been unable to find either full-length statement in court records, but we’ll continue to search and update the story if we discover more information.

UPDATE: The Huffington Post has published Dan Turner’s full letter. You can view it here.

The statement drew criticism from many social media contributors, many of whom condemned the statement’s tone and the phrase “20 minutes of action.” The Guardian reports further on the social media uproar here.

UPDATE: Dan Turner responded to the criticism of his letter in a statement to The Huffington Post. His statement is published in full below:

“My words have been misinterpreted by people,” he said in a statement to The Huffington Post, submitted through his son’s defense attorney. “What I meant with that comment is a 20 minute period of time. I was not referring to sexual activity by the word ‘action.’ It was an unfortunate choice of words and I did not mean to be disrespectful or offensive to anyone.”

The BBC compiled a number of critical tweets, and reports that a petition has been circulated to recall the sentencing judge for what some feel is a “lenient sentence.”

Brock Turner could have faced up to 10 years in prison, but the prosecution pushed for 6 years in a California state prison. Judge Aaron Persky said a harsh prison sentence would have “a severe impact” on Turner, according to the BBC, and he sentenced Turner to just 6 months, taking into account Turner’s lack of a prior criminal record and Turner’s remorse for his actions.

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Mom of 3 girls
6 years ago

THIS is pathetic… Poor excuse for a father, shame on you!

6 years ago

I can feel for the father wanting to do anything possible to help his son. BUT, showing no compassion or remorse for what the true victim (the woman violated while unconscious, not his son) went through is reprehensible.

6 years ago

I just wonder how different Mr. Turners letter would be if the situation was “Mr. Turner we are calling to tell you that your DAUGHTER was found behind a dumpster being raped by a student named Brock…”

6 years ago

The “20 minutes of action” comment is digesting enough and horrible to see his father sees this as not a big deal.

After reading the whole letter it just shows that this generation of kids feel entitled and they are not accountable for their actions. His father is feeding into that mindset. Just because he was a good guy when mommy and daddy were around to watch him doesn’t mean he’s a good guy away from them clearly by his actions. Very disgusting.

6 years ago

20 minutes of “action”. It takes one second to pull a trigger that takes the life of an innocent person. I don’t care how long it was. When you sexually assault a person who is unconscious, you make the conscious decision to act upon another person, a person who cannot provide consent. I hope Brock learns what sexual assault is in jail. The scumbag deserves more time but hopefully the 6 months is enough for him to realize that what he took from that girl cannot be replaced and he will pay for it the rest of his life. Rape culture is a disgusting monster that we must cut off at it’s hideous head and we need to use this… Read more »

6 years ago

There is no shortage of terrible people in this world. I’ve spent far too much of my time focused on this terrible situation. I sure hope the victim finds the help she needs, and lives a great life despite the hand she was dealt. I’ve stated how I felt, signed the petition, contacted USA Swimming to ensure he will never have anything to do with the sport again (unless he swims masters – don’t expect a warm welcoming from me), and now it’s time to make the world a better place by doing nice things for nice people. #PeaceOut

6 years ago

I get that the father would want leniency for his son. Most people don’t stop loving their kids when they make terrible choices…it’s more complicated than that. The problem is his attitude. 20 minutes of action…that’s so disrespectful and insensitive! His son sexually assaulted and caused a great amount of physical and emotional trauma to another person. His attitude shows a portion of where his son’s incredibly poor judgment and sense of entitlement comes from. It’s not that difficult to find a willing hookup for “20 minutes of action” at a college party. He should have done that. The fact that he instead preyed upon a woman who admittedly made a mistake of drinking too much is telling of his… Read more »

Bill V.
Reply to  Kfarr26
6 years ago

So, if this horrific crime happened to your daughter, you wouldn’t warn her about getting blackout-drunk at frat parties? I sure would, victim or not, and it would have everything to do with wanting my daughter to be safe, in control, and able to protect herself.

Scott Morgan
Reply to  Bill V.
6 years ago

No, I wouldn’t warn her after the crime already “happened.” That would be blame, wouldn’t it?

Bill V.
Reply to  Scott Morgan
6 years ago

The problem with kids these days is the problem with parents these days.
Ironically, it’s the thing kids are supposed to learn from swimming: discipline!
If my kid was blackout-drunk at a frat party, the consequences would be so serious they would make six months in jail look like a Hawaiian vacation.

6 years ago

For the sake of the victim, I wish Brock and his family would tell the truth.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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