Saturday 10 December 2016

Brock Turner case: Stanford student lied about regular substance abuse in emotive begging letter to judge

Published 09/06/2016 | 14:07

Former Stanford student Brock Turner Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department / Handout via REUTERS
Former Stanford student Brock Turner Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department / Handout via REUTERS

A former Stanford University student who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a bin on campus lied about his substance abuse, court documents have shown.

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In an emotive letter to a judge before being sentenced, Brock Turner portrayed himself as an innocent who had never partied much before his arrest for the sexual assault

However, texts and videos on his video tell a different story, according to latest reports obtained by the  San Jose Mercury News from confidential court reports.

A video on his phone December 27 2014 — roughly a month before the sexual assault — depicting Turner “smoking from a bong and drinking out of a bottle of liquor immediately after taking a ‘bong hit,’” a sentencing memo states.

Police also found text messages with references to buying pot and acid that were sent during Turner’s senior year of high school.

“Oh dude I did acid with … last week,” he wrote on July 25, 2014.

The month before, his sister had texted him: “Did you rage last night?”

His case has hit international headlines after the judge reduced Turner's potential 14-year sentence in state prison to six months in county jail because he had no history of convictions. The sentencing has been criticised as far too lenient.

Stanford University banned the former student permanently from their campus two weeks after the assault.

He must register as a sex offender and he lost his swimming scholarship to Stanford.

A letter from Turner's father to the judge has also been released to the media, in which he complains that his son's life had been ruined for '20 minutes of action'.

The 23-year-old victim's powerful victim impact statement was released by the Santa Clara County Government for publication.

The 7,000-word plus statement depicts how the shock she felt at finding out what happened to her after the attack, and how the attack has had a disastrous impact on her life since.

Her statement has been read millions of times since it was published on Buzzfeed and was also read live on CNN by anchor Ashleigh Banfield.

In letters of support, Turner’s loved ones and defenders insisted the rape was simply a drunken mistake.

“There is no doubt Brock made a mistake that night — he made a mistake in drinking excessively to the point where he could not fully appreciate that his female acquaintance was so intoxicated,” retired federal prosecutor Margaret M. Quinn wrote to the judge.

 “I know Brock did not go to that party intending to hurt, or entice, or overpower anyone.”

In a now-infamous letter, Turner’s father said his son’s life should not be ruined over ”20 minutes of action.”

After Turner’s six months behind bars, he will be on probation for three years — during which he’ll be banned from buying alcohol, and must submit to regular chemical tests.

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