As has been reported previously, convicted rapist Brock Turner is set to be released from prison on September 2, having served half of his six-month sentence which many saw as insufficient for his crime he had been facing as many as 14 years behind bars. That means, ahead of his Friday release, you can expect to see more of Turner in the news this week, and likely more calls for protest.
SFist reached out to San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) and a rep there said she was not aware of any planned protests at the moment, but that may change as the week goes on.
The online activist group UltraViolet sent out a press release today continuing to slam Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky in response to a new story on BuzzFeed in which Judge Persky gave seemingly preferential treatment to another young male athlete, 21-year-old Ikaika Gunderson, who was convicted in a 2015 domestic abuse case in which he pleaded no contest to beating and choking his girlfriend. Persky allowed Gunderson to delay his sentence in order to attend the University of Hawaii to play football, and Persky reduced his charge to a misdemeanor if Gunderson agreed to attend a year-long domestic violence program, and enroll in AA. As of October of last year, Gunderson had dropped out of college, according to BuzzFeed, and was picked up on another domestic violence charge in Washington state.
Says UltraViolet cofounder Nita Chaudhary, "With each documented case, it’s only become clearer that Judge Persky operates under a dangerous pattern of bias that excuses rape culture and normalizes violence against women," adding, "Survivors need a break; not abusers."
Turner entered Elmwood county jail in Milpitas on June 2, and it had been reported from the outset that he would be released under the assumption of good behavior in three months, because "it was assessed that he was unlikely to misbehave behind bars." That came via Santa Clara County records obtained by the Daily Mail after the story of Turner's conviction and lenient sentencing made international headlines three months ago.
Turner's conviction stemmed from a January 18, 2015 incident on the Stanford campus in which two graduate students witnessed Turner assaulting a naked young woman, confronted him, and tackled him when he attempted to escape until campus police could arrive.
Last week we learned that, amidst all of the negative press and calls for his termination as a judge, Judge Persky has requested he be reassigned to the civil division of the court, instead of the criminal division. Presiding Judge Rise Pichon said that Persky "believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment."
UltraViolet delivered a petition earlier this summer with over one million signatures to the California Commission on Judicial Performance demanding Persky's removal from the bench.