One of the most heavily publicised and talked about rape cases in recent years is about to take another dark turn.
Stanford University's Brock Turner, a convicted rapist – not just a "talented swimmer" – will be leaving prison on Friday (September 2), having served three of his six-month sentence.
Not only was the student's full sentence already disgracefully lenient for a sexual assault with two witnesses, Turner will only serve half of his sentence, according to public records.
A loophole in the Californian law system, which is trying to realign its prisons by releasing inmates early, means Turner doesn't have to serve his entire six-month sentence after "good behavior".
The ruling's leniency has been hugely criticised by the masses since day one, but with the news that Turner will be set free and allowed to dive back into his shameless pool, activists are orchestrating a protest for the day of his release.
The rally is planned for Friday at 10am at Santa Clara Hall of Justice, a venue right beside the prison where Turner is atm. If it's as fiery as the internet's anti-rape protesters have been, it'll be a protest to remember.
Attending the protest will be the state senator Jim Beall, congress members Eric Swalwell and Jerry McNerney and Harvard rape-survivor Kamilah Willingham. People are encouraged to bring hand-painted signs and spread the message all over social media.
This rally coincides with protesters led by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber who have been trying to oust the trial's judge Aaron Persky from courts under the Recall Judge Aaron Persky campaign. Persky isn't only responsible for Turner's painfully short sentence, but also earlier assault cases where he has awarded "violent perpetrators" with extremely short jail time.
The judge has since launched his own launched his own ‘Retain Judge Persky’ movement to maintain his post in the courtrooms.
Victim-blaming, victim-blaming, more victim-blaming
California legislators hope to close the short sentence loophole as soon as possible. A bill was passed on Monday (August 29) to change the current law, which states that sexual assault with force results in a mandatory sentence, whereas where no force is used (i.e. if the victim is unconscious) there is no mandatory sentence. The bill awaits Governor Jerry Brown's approval before it can be signed into law.
On top of the lax laws, it's been obvious from the beginning that the case was never taken seriously by judges and lawyers involved. During the court case, Turner's defence claimed going to prison would ruin his life chances of succeeding in swimming. He is still regularly referred to as "Ex-Stanford swimmer" before "convicted rapist" in many headlines, including Washington Post and news.com.au.
Similarly, Stanford University is demonstrating its complete lack of ability to ridicule rapists. Responding to the media shit storm the university has faced, Stanford implemented a ban on large containers of hard liquor and released some ignorant victim-blaming alcohol guidelines. In an apparent attempt to demean sexual assault survivors, the guidelines warned female students of how they might be “perceived” if they drink too much. The guide also gives tips against the "negative consequences" of consuming alcohol, aka rape.
In the obtuse try at curbing sexual assault, the university has done nothing more than excuse rapists' behaviour if their victim is pissed.
At least when Brock Turner is reunited with his Speedos on Friday, there will be an army of protesters there to greet him.