Outrage spread earlier this week over a California judge's six-month jail sentence for Brock Turner, who is quickly becoming infamously known as "The Stanford Rapist." Turner was convicted in March of intent to commit rape of an intoxicated person, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an intoxicated person. Numerous critics have denounced the sentence as overly lenient, including California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who questioned whether the facts presented in the case warranted mitigating a maximum 14-year sentence down to six months.
Media interest in the case began with the release of a letter from the victim, who described her ordeal in twelve brutally explicit pages. According to the police report, two men riding bicycles across Stanford's campus saw Turner on top of an unconscious woman around 1 a.m. Turner attempted to flee, and the two men chased him down and restrained him until police arrived, where they found the victim lying behind a dumpster, unconscious but breathing.
In her letter, the victim described how the attack left her "closed off, angry, self-deprecating, tired, irritable, [and] empty," and begged Judge Persky to not be lenient. She spoke of how humiliating it was to read about what happened to her in news reports that focused on Turner's athleticism, and listed his swimming times at the end of the articles.
A letter from Turner's father urged Judge Persky to go easy on Turner, claiming that his son "will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy-going personality and welcoming smile," and that a harsh sentence would be "a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 years of life."
Outrage about the light sentence included angry posts on TheRobingRoom.com, which provides informal evaluations of judges, and Stanford law professor Michele Dauber who told CNN, "The message [Persky] sent to women at Stanford is, 'You're on your own.'" Vice President Joe Biden penned an open letter to the victim earlier this week that also has gone viral, praising the victim's strength and courage to speak out and expressing that he "[is] filled with furious anger - both that this happened to you and that our culture still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth."
Dauber is currently heading an attempt to recall Persky. Over one million supporters have signed the petition to remove Judge Persky from his judicial position on Change.org, and Dauber is initiating a signature gathering effort in order to certify and present the signatures to open the recall campaign. The recall will go on the ballot, and if Persky is defeated in the recall, another candidate will take his place.