Protests promised for Brock Turner’s Friday release
Large crowds are expected to gather outside the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose on Friday when a man convicted of sexually assaulting a woman during a party at Stanford University last year will be released after serving a short sentence.
There’s no scheduled time for when 21-year-old Brock Turner will be released from custody, but community members plan on gathering outside the jail Friday morning to voice their opposition to Turner only serving half of his six-month sentence and to reiterate their calls to remove Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, who issued the punishment, from the bench.
Members of UltraViolet, a group that advocates for women’s rights and opposes sexism, plan to circle the jail and neighboring Hall of Justice with three bicycle billboards and banners.
The signs will read “Thanks to Judge Persky, Brock Turner served just 3 months for rape,” and ends with the #PerskyMustGo hashtag.
Rape victim advocates and supporters of the effort to recall Persky are expected to speak out their claims that the judge puts rapists and abusers above victims, according to UltraViolet.
The county sheriff’s office is making security preparations for Turner’s release, which can happen anytime on Friday, sheriff’s Sgt. James Jensen said.
Extra deputies will be assigned to the area for the protection of protesters, the media and Turner, Jensen said.
Most inmates are released between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. when they’re able to catch a ride on the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority system and receive assistance through the county’s Re-Entry Resource Center that provides counseling, health referrals and other services, Jensen said.
The case has received international attention since Persky sentenced Turner on June 2 to six months in jail after he was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault of an unconscious woman during an on-campus fraternity party on Jan. 18, 2015.
The 21-year-old man, a former Stanford swimmer, was able to serve half of his sentence for good behavior.
The victim wrote a 12-page letter addressed to Turner that was read in court, released by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and widely shared through social media.
Many online petitions have circulated online demanding the removal of Persky from his judgeship for the sentence that some viewed as lenient.
Last week, Santa Clara County Superior Court officials announced that Persky voluntarily stepped down from hearing criminal cases in Palo Alto and will move to the civil division at the Old Courthouse in downtown San Jose, where he’ll begin serving on Tuesday.
The case has also led to legislation in the form of Assembly Bill 2888 that would change the required minimum sentence for convicted rapists of unconscious victims to three years in prison, which matches the lowest punishment for rape of conscious victims.
Under current law, someone convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious victim can receive probation.
The bill passed in the state Assembly on Monday and has moved to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for consideration.
Assemblymen Evan Low, D-Campbell, and Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced the bill, which is co-sponsored by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo.