Remember Brock Turner, the Stanford rapist? So much has happened since he, his nauseating father, his fearless victim and, of course, Judge Aaron Persky, the man who gave him a ludicrous six-month sentence, dominated the news cycle.
Here are some things that happened: the Olympics (some irony there, given Turner’s former position on the swim team), Rihanna and Beyoncé’s killer VMAs performances, more Trump, Justin Bieber quit Instagram, Frank Ocean dropped his masterpiece, that whole Taylor Swift/Kanye/Kim Snapchat fiasco… it almost feels like it’s been forever since everyone was talking about that guy.
But it has not been forever. It’s only been three months. And Brock Turner, rapist, was released this morning. He was released after serving only half of his six-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman due to “good behavior.”
A quick reminder: Brock was not charged with rape because, at the time, digital penetration did not count as rape. Another reason Brock wasn’t charged with rape: he was a wealthy white kid attending an Ivy League school.
Sure, there’s some justice in the fact that Brock Turner will not enjoy the life he knew before he entered Santa Clara County Jail three months ago. He’ll never be re-admitted to a decorated college. He’ll never swim in the Olympics or land a good job. I wish I could say he’ll never have a girlfriend, but deep down I know that’s probably not true.
For now, Turner is going back to Ohio to live with his parents, who undoubtedly will pamper their son after his harrowing time in jail (I’m sure we all remember the letter from Turner’s father, pointing out the “20 minutes of action” and alluding to feeding his son a delicious steak while he was on trail for rape). He’ll register as a sex offender for life. He’ll face three months probation (oh, come on).
But there is some good news. After over a million people signed a petition to kick Judge Aaron Persky off the bench, resulting in his resignation (he still tries civil cases, though). And, most importantly, California passed a law that dictates a minimum sentence of three years for sexual assault of an unconscious woman.
Though he walks free, we can never forget Brock Turner, the poster boy for rape culture. The fight has only just begun.