Stanford Graduation Becomes Brock Turner Rape Protest
The tumult over the Brock Turner sentence hasn't died down in the Bay Area one bit, if that's what you were thinking. At Stanford's 125th commencement on Sunday, some students held signs protesting the light sentence handed down by a Palo Alto judge in the Turner case, in which the former Stanford swimmer was given only six months for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on the Stanford campus.
In addition to displaying protest signs (among them: "Rape is Rape") during the traditional "wacky walk" following the ceremony, a plane displayed a sign which read "Protest Survivors Not Rapists -- Perksy Must Go". Aaron Persky is the juge who handed down the sentence, and is the subject of a Change.Org recall petition which has more than 1 million signatures to date.
Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker whose molst prominent work was The Civil War series on PBS, gave the commencement address. Among his closing remarks, via the San Francisco Chronicle:
"If someone tells you they have been sexually assaulted, take it effing seriously and listen to them."
"Maybe someday we'll make the survivor's eloquent statement as important as Dr. (Martin Luther) King's letter from the Birmingham jail."
Turner has been banned for life by USA Swimming, and must register as a sex offender. He is likely to serve only three months of his six-month sentence, provided he exhibits good behavior in jail. The prosecutor of the case had recommended a six-year prison term.
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