Innocent yet proven guilty: political correctness in the Stanford rape case
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In the last month the trial of Stanford swimmer Brock Turner and all the gruesome details of his sexual assault of another student hit the news. Turner was found guilty of sexual assault on three counts: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated person; sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object; and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object. For these charges Turner was sentenced to a startlingly lenient sentence of six months in prison with probation. The focus has been on the perpetrator rather than the victim, as his sentence has been reduced to a mere three months incarceration, with Judge Persky claiming that a more lengthy prison sentence would have a "severe impact on him." Persky claims that, to an extent, he trusted Turner’s account of the events and “took him at his word” when he suddenly seemed to recall a vague utterance of possible consent from the victim, and believes him to have expressed a “genuine feeling of remorse.” Media coverage of the case has been dominated with the smiling face of Turner's Stanford University photo, his athletic achievements and boy-next-door image. Several of his friends and family members provided statements and letters, claiming that it was not possible that the defendent could have committed the crimes that he was accused of. One of his childhood friends claimed the case to be a "misunderstanding", and also suggested that as rape is a "very sensitive subject" this incident is a case of "political correctness" gone wild. The friend claims Turner is innocent, despite the guilty charges brought against him.
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