Stanford rape case perpetrator Brock Turner has been convicted to six months in county jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus — and Turner will be placed in protective custody during his entire stint in prison, TMZ reports. Turner's conviction of six months (which will likely be reduced to three) over three federal sexual assault charges has sparked justified, national outrage. That's a mere month for each federal charge — or as Turner's father sickeningly put it, "20 minutes of action." The fact that he will have a prison escort with him at all times and be placed in protective custody only drives home the injustice even further.
According to the report by TMZ, Turner will be placed in protective custody throughout the entirety of his stay at the Santa Clara County prison. He won't be alone in protective custody, however — according to a representative of Santa Clara County Sheriff's office, inmates who identify as part of the LGBT community, gang dropouts, and others convicted of sexual assault are placed in this type of custody "so they aren't harmed." Evidently Turner's placement in protective custody is not because of his high-profile case, but rather because inmates convicted of sexual assault are often targeted.
This same sentiment — to keep Turner out of harm — is the exact one that made his sentencing so maddeningly lenient. As is the case in a culture that turns a blind eye to rape, the perpetrator is protected — whether it be in court proceedings or jail — and the victim is punished. Turner's ability to both maneuver out of a just sentencing and his special status in jail is a clear, harrowing reminder of that.
However, it seems Turner will be punished in other ways that far outlast his short time in jail. Swimming has obviously been a clear part of his identity; his lawyers brought it up time and time again in court. USA Swimming, the governing body for professional swimming in the United States, has banned Turner for life.
Turner had previously been slated to compete in the Olympics with the U.S. swimming team, and will now be permanently ineligible.
Although a broken justice system only saw fit to punish Turner for six months, he will hopefully receive a lifetime of punishment for his actions in other, perhaps more personal ways.