By: Hannah Paige Michels ~Head Photo Editor~
Brock Turner registered yesterday as a sex offender in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio, upon his return and early release from jail early Friday morning.
Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman at Stanford University on Jan. 18, 2015. In early March, a jury convicted him of three counts of sexual assault including, assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.
Prosecutors fought for a six- year sentence, but Turner was given a six-month sentence. However, he was released after serving only three months for good behavior.
The six-month sentence was widely criticized for being too lenient. Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky defended his choice of sentencing explaining he didn’t want to ruin Turner’s life.
“A prison sentence would have a severe impact on [Turner],” Persky said. “I think you have to take the whole picture in terms of what impact imprisonment has on a specific individual’s life. And the impact statements that have been…or the, really, character letters that have been submitted, do show a huge collateral consequence for Mr. Turner based on the conviction.”
An online petition calling for the removal of Persky has received 1.3 million signatures. At Persky’s request, he has been reassigned to a civil court.
In response to the handling of Turner’s trial, California unanimously passed a new law, written by the Santa Clara district attorney’s office, which requires a mandatory prison time sentence for anyone convicted of sexually assaulting a person who is unconscious or too intoxicated to consent.
The bill will close the legal loophole that prevented Turner from serving his full sentence and allowed him to go on probation. The bill passed with a 77-1 vote and will be finalized by a signature from California Governor Jerry Brown.
Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith addressed reporters on Friday morning and gave them a copy of a letter she wrote to Govenor Brown this week, urging him to sign the law.
“As the Sheriff of Santa Clara County and a mother I believe that the interests of justice are best served by ensuring that sexual predators are sent to prison as punishment for their crime,” Smith wrote. “Victims of these types of sexual assaults struggle for years to cope with the damage done to their lives and knowing that there is more just punishment to those that perpetrated these assaults may provide some solace to these victims.”
While Turner was leaving the Santa Clara County Jail, he was met by protestors and reporters. He kept his head bowed while leaving the jail and left in a white SUV to return to his parents’ home.
Protestors stayed hours after Turner had left to bring awareness to the lack of justice sexual assault victims receive in court. Some of thier signs read “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Judge Persky has got to go,” “Our daughters deserve better” and “Protect survivors, not rapists.”
Tuner was also met by protestors at his home in Sugarcreek Township. Many wrote messages about Turner in the street, on the sidewalk and on his driveway in chalk. Men and women, some armed, stood on the sidewalk with posters addressing Turner and his actions.
“He’s just not welcome,” neighbor Molly Hardin said to CBS News.
Turner will serve his threeyear probation in Sugarcreek and will also undergo a sex offender management program for one to three years.
Once Turner arrived in Ohio, he had five days to register as a Tier III sex offender. He is also required to register as a sex offender every 90 days for the rest of his life. The local sheriff ’s office will also be sending out postcards to Turner’s neighbors to notify them of his sex offender status.