Despite being sentenced to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner will now be released Friday, Sept. 2, three months ahead of schedule. As previously reported, Turner's unusually light sentence was shortened before it even began, due to "automatically applied 'credits'" for good behavior.
In January 2015, multiple people witnessed Turner sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on Stanford University's campus. When two graduate students approached him to make sure the woman was alright, Turner fled—only to be tackled moments later and held down until police arrived at the scene.
Turner was found guilty of three felony counts of sexual assault in June, crimes which normally carry a minimum two-year sentence. However, the judge in the case, Aaron Persky, instead elected to sentence Turner to six months plus probation, a decision that sparked national outrage and multiple petitions demanding he be disbarred. Judge Persky has since announced he will no longer hear criminal cases, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, California state lawmakers passed a new bill inspired by Turner's case Monday, which would make prison sentences mandatory in cases of sexual assault that involve someone who is unconscious or otherwise unable to give consent. As the Los Angeles Times reports, current California law only requires prison time for "those convicted of rape using additional physical force."
"If we let a rapist off with probation and little jail time, we re-victimize the victim, we dissuade other victims from coming forward, and we send a message that sexual assault of an incapacitated victim is just no big deal," Assemblyman Bill Dodd said, when presenting the bill.
AB 2888 was passed unanimously and will now be sent to Governor Jerry Brown.
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