Charged with three counts of sexual assault, it seems baffling that Brock Turner is being released early after having already received a lenient sentence of six months. He's set to be released from jail on Friday, Sept. 2, but new details about the night Turner assaulted his victim might make you wish he was staying behind bars.
Turner's trial, as well as his refusal to fully take responsibility for sexually assaulting a woman, are hard to forget, and the outrage they sparked hasn't dissipated whatsoever in the short three months since his trial in June. Judge Aaron Persky, in Turner's case, handed down the laughable sentence because he felt that a longer sentence would have a "severe impact" on Turner, he said during the trial. When Turner is released on Friday, he will have served just half of that sentence.
While Turner surely didn't find his sentence laughable, he allegedly thought something even worse was funny. According to The Guardian, court records given to the outlet suggest that Turner allegedly smiled and laughed at passersby who were intervening as he was sexually assaulting the woman. The incident occurred outside of a fraternity house, and Turner's victim was reportedly unconscious — there's absolutely nothing funny about that.
The Guardian's report points to court documents that include statements from the graduate students who came across Turner and his victim. According the court documents, grad student Peter Jonsson testified, "I noticed that [Turner] was smiling. So I said, 'Why are you smiling? Stop smiling.'"
In response to the allegations, Turner himself admitted during his testimony that he was laughing at the time of the incident, but offered a different explanation. "I was laughing at the situation of how ridiculous it was," he said.
While Turner served just part of his controversially short sentence, his victim's sister penned an emotional letter, detailing the other side of the story. She had been visiting her sister at Stanford on the night of the incident — but the next morning, she had to pick her sister up from the local hospital's rape crisis center. The victim's sister also doesn't seem satisfied with the emotional response of Turner, writing, "Where has your remorse been? Really, truly: Do you feel guilty because you were sexually assaulting her, or because you were caught?"
If there's any silver lining, it could be that California appears to be on its way to increasing the penalties for sexual assault of an unconscious victim. A new bill in the state legislature would align the penalties of those crimes with the penalties required for other types of sexual assault.