Letters of character that have surfaced after the trial of a Stanford swimmer attempt to paint a picture of a good guy who, through some inexplicable bad luck, found himself in the middle of a trial for sexual assault. The latest defense to emerge comes from Brock Turner's ex-girlfriend, whose letter to Judge Aaron Persky was obtained by Daily Mail. The letter, like a lot of the character statements for Turner, totally misses the point about his sexual assault charge and reinforces dangerous stereotypes about perpetrators of violence against women.
Lydia Pocisk — who, like Turner, is a native of Oakwood, Ohio — dated Turner for two years and was a friend of his for eight. Pocisk also testified as a character witness in his trial. In her letter to the defense attorney, Pocisk extolled Turner's drive and determination, including in swimming. She went on to say that during her time swimming with him and dating him, she came to know a "kind, loving, respectful" individual.
After saying that she would've thought eight years of friendship would have provided clues to such behavior, Pocisk also said that the type of person that Turner is could "never deserve this or do anything he has been convicted of in a thousand of his lives," and that she is "angry with God" for "instilling such pain on such an undeserving soul." And no, she wasn't talking about Turner's victim.
I'm not doubting that Pocisk saw a kind and loving person during her friendship and relationship with Turner, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't capable of sexual assault, or that his previous "good guy" reputation should absolve him of any punishment. Of course, friends and family never want to imagine that Turner could have done any of the things that he did, but the court found him guilty. Any incredulous statements about what Turner is capable of, at this point, only work to diminish the pain that his victim could be feeling. Do you think she cares that before he was "loving" and "respectful" individual? Because to her, he was far from it.
Read the full letter below, which was dated March 19:
Dear Honorable Judge Aaron Persky,
My name is Lydia Pocisk and I am writing you with regards to my dearest friend Brock Turner. I testified as a character witness for Brock Turner in this trial, so my apologies for any redundant information in this letter. Brock and I have been friends for a bit over 8 years, first meeting in junior high when our two elementary schools converged. After meeting through this, we quickly became friends through mutual friends and then began a closer friendship after he started swimming with me at the Dayton Raiders. Through our 8 years of friendship, 2 of which we spent dating (our junior and senior year of high school), I have spent countless enjoyable hours with him, alongside family, and alongside friends.
In this time, I came to know a kind, loving, respectful, relaxed, silently hilarious, and determined individual. He was determined to be the best he could be in all he did. I say this with 100% confidence because I remember a conversation with him a few years back. I asked why he had gotten so good at everything he did, and his answer surprised me. He simply said, "It's not as fun to not be successful or not work hard." He worked harder than any person I know, in the water, out of the water and in the classroom. With this, it sounds like he could not have possibly made adequate time for a girlfriend, but I strongly beg to differ. He ensured that I was okay and happy in all that I was doing, he helped me learn a lot about myself and about the person I could be. He never once pressured me into any situation or any decision that I didn't feel true to myself in. I would often get caught up in other people's situations and he helped me see that I did not need to do that, the only person that I ever need to please in life is myself. He truly made me a better person. He would also often not say much, just listen to me, and then when I was finished, say something hysterical that I completely threw me for a loop. He is one of the most unique people I have ever met.
Much of the time I spent with Brock was simply relaxing. We would be over at one another's homes and would simply sit on the couch and watch TV or get a bit of homework done. Our date nights often included going out to dinner and a movie followed by a trip to get ice cream, just simple things that made us both very happy. He joined me as my date, before we were together and while we were together, to various high school dances. Even with all of this, we also spent innumerable hours in the pool or at the pool in which we saw each other a minimum of two hours a day. Through all of this, I was able to get to know Brock as my best friend that I probably will ever have in my whole life.
Brock has joined my family and I to countless activities and I to his. Baseball games, bowling, trips to the lake house (also to visit to my grandmother), simply rides to the pool, dinner at each other's homes, he even surprised me attending an orchestra concert of mine with my family. Both my two older sisters, father and mother can all attest through our experiences with him that he is a calm, funny, respective and often quiet young man that is so deserving of nothing but the best. At least once a week, I would sit down with him and his parents to dinner at their home. I consider this something special and something that speaks numbers for as busy high schoolers, he always ensured we made time to enjoy in the company of his parents.
As I was in the courtroom alongside the whole Turner family, I was astonished and angered to hear the person that District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci described to the courtroom. The person she believed to be describing was one she wished to, and not the kind-hearted, relaxed, and caring Brock that he actually is. She used Brock's most defining qualities, of being a relaxed or "chill" person against him in a manner that was in her favor and demoted Brock. I have seen first hand how this has destroyed him. It had been said that due to his calm demeanor, he did not care that this was happening to him, that he intentionally did this, which is simply not the case, he is just very good at being and seeming relaxed, it is who he is and a quality I hope he will always be. The real Brock is not the one that was demonstrated in the courtroom.
The fact I am even writing this letter is something I never saw coming, or could ever imagine, this in itself I believe to speak numbers. You would think a close friendship of 8 years could predict something like this happening, but the type of person Brock is could never deserve this or do anything he has been convicted of in a thousand of his lives. I have never been so angry with God in all of my life, for instilling such pain on such an undeserving soul. I will forever wish the memory of having to write this goes away, I pray everyday for only the best for my dear friend and I live every day in fear of June 2nd, 2016, for the best guy I have ever gotten to know may be taken away from me.