After Brock Turner was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault, dozens of family members and friends wrote statements to the judge defending his character. These letters may have contributed to him receiving such a short sentence that it caused an uproar online.
Leslie Rasmussen, a childhood friend, was one of those friends who wrote a letter. "I don't think it's fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn't remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him," she wrote. "I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn't right. But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn't always because people are rapists?"
That letter caused a controversy of its own, and it led to her band, Good English, being dropped from multiple music festivals. At first, she wrote a post on Facebook defending her decision, saying she wanted to highlight how "Brock's character was seriously affected by the alcohol he consumed," and how binge drinking can contribute to horrible behavior.
But now, Rasmussen has apologized for making the statement in the first place. "I did not acknowledge strongly enough the severity of Brock's crime and the suffering and pain that his victim endured, and for that lack of acknowledgement, I am deeply sorry," she wrote on Facebook. "I fully understand the outrage over Brock's sentencing and my statement. I can only say that I am committed to learning from this mistake. I am 20 years old, and it has never been more clear to me that I still have much to learn."
You can read her full statement below:
According to the Dayton Daily News, Turner's high school guidance counselor, Kelly Owens, has also apologized for supporting him during the trial. "I made a mistake. Of course he should be held accountable," she said in an official apology to her school district. "I pray for the victim, her family and all those affected by this horrible event. I am truly sorry for the additional pain my statement has caused. I tell my students they have to be accountable, and Brock is no exception."
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