The father of Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer, has caused widespread public outrage for trying to portray his son — a convicted rapist — as a victim.
The 20-year-old was sentenced last Thursday to six months in a county jail for three counts of sexual assault. The 23-year-old woman he attacked called the punishment “gentle.” Local media decried it as a “slap on the wrist.”
Dan Turner, however, felt his son shouldn’t get any jail time at all. In a now-public letter, he pleaded to the sentencing judge for leniency.
The dad described his convicted son as a gentle and quiet soul; someone who people always wanted to be around; and who’s “never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan. 17th 2015.”
That’s when Turner’s victim was found unconscious and half-naked behind a dumpster on campus. Turner tried to flee when two students saw him while riding by on their bikes.
The woman said she only remembers drinking at a fraternity party and waking up in hospital, bloodied and bandaged.
WATCH: Standford rape survivor pens powerful letter to attacker (Warning: Some may find the content disturbing)
“I can tell you firsthand the devastating impact that it has had on my son,” her attacker’s father wrote.
“Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events. He will never be his happy-go-lucky self.
“His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve.
“That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”
His son’s academic and athletic accomplishments are now tarnished, the father bemoaned, and his appetite for his favourite foods like “pretzels or chips” and steak has been extinguished.
“Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist.”
People have had a hard time relating to his apparent plight.
“One of the world’s greatest tragedies: that Brock Turner can no longer bring himself to enjoy a ‘big ribeye steak,'” wrote Twitter user Molly Hodson.
“It seems Brock Turner’s dad is more upset that his son was caught,” Jen Gunter said on Twitter.
The dad went on to list the hardships his son would now have to endure like having to “register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life,” which would affect where he’ll able to live and work.
He also chalked up his son’s sexual assault charges to “binge drinking and its unfortunate results.”
Instead of incarcerating his son, the father argued it’d be better for him to educate other students about “the dangers of alcohol and sexual promiscuity.”
In her victim impact statement, the rape survivor blasted the excuses.
“Show men how to respect women, not how to drink less,” she wrote.
Turner’s letter doesn’t mention any culpability, nor has his son admitted any wrongdoing.
In a statement Monday, Stanford University (which banned Turner from setting foot on campus) stressed that it takes sexual assault “extremely seriously.”
“There is still much work to be done, not just here, but everywhere, to create a culture that does not tolerate sexual violence in any form and a judicial system that deals appropriately with sexual assault cases,” the university’s statement read.
Those who can’t take full accountability for their actions, the sex assault survivor said in her statement, doesn’t deserve a lighter sentence.
“It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of ‘promiscuity.’ By definition … rape is the absence of consent,” she wrote.
Countless individuals backed her up on social media.