Brock Turner, the man who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman in January 2015, was released from jail on Friday, after serving only three months. Turner was originally facing up to 14 years in prison. However, Judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to six months, which then turned into just three on early release. As Turner left a Santa Clara County jail on Friday, he was photographed alongside a police office. The officer watching Brock Turner leave symbolizes what many women likely felt over his early release from jail.
Nobody can know what this officer is thinking or what is going through their head, but to some people on Twitter, at least, the look on the officer's face appears to be one with which many women can empathize in response to Friday's news. Turner's early release was on the premise of good behavior while in jail. According to the judge who sentenced him in the first place, a longer sentence was unnecessary because it would allegedly have a severe impact on his life. However, in his initial statement, Turner didn't appear to express any remorse over his actions.
The photo of this officer speaks to many women as they watch Turner walk away from jail after serving only three months for assaulting an unconscious woman.
Turner has five days to return to his parents' hometown in Ohio where he will be required to complete three years of probation and is also required to avoid substances throughout the duration of that time. Turner will also be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life, which means his photo, conviction information, and home address will be made public, and he will be listed on a sex offender registry. Jason Rydberg, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell told CNN, "Even if Brock Turner only spends a limited amount of time in custody, being on probation or parole is not like being free in society," adding, "You are monitored and your movements are controlled."
However, even if Turner is monitored for the next three years of his life while on probation, even if he served those three months and was a "respectable young man" in jail, he was still released early. He still sexually assaulted a young woman. He still shows no remorse for his actions. And so many of us are watching this unjust system allowing him to walk free, and women are watching with the same look as this officer.
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