If you’ve been following the Brock Turner case, you’ll know he recently made a new argument to repeal his case. And it’s disgusting.
The case, filed in 2016, found former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner guilty of three accounts of felony for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at a fraternity party in 2015. It opened up a wide discussion on sexual assaults on college campuses, and sparked international outrage following a sentence deemed by the public as too lenient. While rape are punishable to up to 14 years in prison cases, Turner received a sentence of only six months—of which he only served three, under protective custody— and he was merely registered as a sexual offender in addition to being barred from Stanford, and put under three years of probation.
As if this wasn’t insulting enough, this week, his lawyer once again filed an appeal claiming injustice in the trial. While we agree there had been grave injustice, but for the lack of appropriate punishment—Turnee actually believes himself a victim. Get this—according to his lawyer, he shouldn’t have been convicted guilty with the intention to commit rape, because he was only performing “outercourse.”
If you recall, two witnesses caught Brock Turner by a dumpster near the fraternity house, thrusting his pelvis on top of the victim, while she lay half-naked and unconscious. Turner later confessed to removing the victim’s underwear and penetrating her with his fingers, but claimed he never took his own pants off.
By definition, outercourse means sexual activity between individuals without any vaginal or anal penetration. Now, it’s important to note that at the time of the case, rape was defined as “an act of sexual intercourse” under duress or lack of consent. Furthermore, his lawyer was banking on the premise that outercourse is merely “an alternative to or substitute for sexual intercourse, not a precursor to it.” In short, Turner and his team are hoping to get by through the technicality bullsh*t. “Technically, there was no penal insertion, so technically, he wasn’t a rapist.”
I think we are all aware that rape has been one of humanity’s longstanding issues. Historically, rape was considered as a cultural norm; a biological truth. “It happens, they can’t help it.” It’s only recently that rape culture was more thoroughly discussed, that laws were finally placed (like marital rape) and amended (like changing the definition of rape to all forms of sexual assault) to address the issue. This may be because, for the longest time in history, men or perpetrators have been drafting the laws. Just the definition of rape—and consent—becomes too complicated for them to understand.
Brock Turner’s attorney asserts the lack of penal insertion as indication that there was no intent for rape. But for the rest of us, and especially to victims, what happened was as clear as day: it was rape, plain and simple.
It’s funny how Turner and his team are banking on terms of technicality, since part of his appeal to turn the case in 2017 was due to the constant use of the phrase “behind the dumpster” throughout the trial; citing that the word “dumpster” has inherent “connotations of filth, garbage, detritus, and criminal activity” which automatically implicated him. Well, he could phrase it or call it whatever he wants, but the fact of what happened remains. And if he thinks that phrase has implications on him, imagine how much worse it is for his victim. It was undignified, and dirty, and she didn’t deserve that.
The fact that he’s still trying to get out of a crime he already got an unjustly light sentence for, is nothing short of disgusting. The only one who should be appealing for justice is his victim.
Brock Turner, quit trying to revoke your conviction, and quit hiding behind technicalities; you don’t get to tell the victim how she feels, and further demean the whole ordeal by telling her no, it wasn’t rape, but a mere practice of outercourse. Rape is rape, and you, Brock Turner, are guilty.
Art by Marian Hukom
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