Sunday 25 September 2016

Brock Turner: Former Stanford student blames 'party culture' for sex assault on unconscious woman

Published 09/06/2016 | 08:32

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 told the judge his crime was a result of a party culture, peer pressure and 'sexual promiscuity'.

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Brock Turner, a former Stanford University student, was found guilty of three felony sexual assault counts for the 2015 attack against a fellow student.

Turner was interrupted by two graduate students who were cycling by when they saw him assaulting a partially clothed woman behind the bin.

He tried to flee, but the students tackled and pinned him down until police arrived and arrested him.

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.

Now, the New York Times has published a letter submitted to the judge before being sentenced to six months in jail.

FILE - In this June 2, 2016 file photo, Brock Turner, right, makes his way into the Santa Clara Superior Courthouse in Palo Alto, Calif. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group via AP, File)
FILE - In this June 2, 2016 file photo, Brock Turner, right, makes his way into the Santa Clara Superior Courthouse in Palo Alto, Calif. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group via AP, File)

Turner wrote; “I am the sole proprietor of what happened on the night that changed these people’s lives forever. I would give anything to change what happened.”

He blamed a 'party culture' at the university for his actions.

He said the attack has left him a "changed person".

“I want to demolish the assumption that drinking and partying are what make up a college lifestyle,” he wrote.

Brock Allen Turner
Brock Allen Turner

“I made a mistake, I drank too much, and my decisions hurt someone.”

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.

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