A Texas congressman called for the removal of the judge in the Stanford sexual assault case, and demanded Brock Turner’s “pathetic sentence” to be overturned, on June 9.
During his remarks on the floor, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), criticized the judge’s comment that a prison sentence for Turner “would have a severe impact on him.”
“Well isn’t that the point?” argued Poe.
He also referenced the controversial statement made by Dan Turner, the assailant’s father, in which he said his son is paying a “steep price for 20 minutes of action.”
“Clearly Brock is a chip off the old block and daddy will never be named father of the year,” said Poe.
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 9, 2016
Turner, then-19, sexually assaulted an unconscious woman after a party on campus on Jan. 17, 2015. Two PhD students who were riding their bikes found Turner assaulting the young woman and intervened. They called the authorities and Turner was arrested that night.
Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky, following the recommendation of the county’s probation department, sentenced Turner to six months in jail and three years probation on June 2. The former swimmer must register for life as a sex offender after being convicted of three felony counts of assault and attempted rape. The initial rape charges were dropped in October 2015.
Turner is now appealing his conviction.
Congressman Poe also read excerpts of the victim’s 12-page-letter to the judge.
“I was the wounded antelope of the herd, completely alone and vulnerable, physically unable to fend for myself, and he chose me,” read Poe.
“I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up, I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep,” wrote the victim in the letter.
Poe, who was a prosecutor and a criminal court judge over the past 30 years, says he has met many rape victims and learned that the attacks devastate their lives.
“This judge got it wrong,” said Poe.
“In this case, the court and the defendant’s father wanted a pass for the rapist because he was a big shot swimmer,” said the congressman.
Poe called for the judge to be removed and for the appellate court to overturn Turner’s “pathetic sentence,” and “give him the punishment he deserves.”
“The entitlement mentality, being a good college athlete, and righteousness do not trump justice,” he said.
The congressman also called for a change of mentality in society and that people should recognize that sexual assault and rape “for the horrible crimes that they are.”
“As a grandfather of 11, I want to know that my granddaughters are growing up in a society that has zero tolerance for this conduct. No means No. And a woman unconscious does not even have the ability to consent or fight back,” said Poe.
“Rape is never the fault of the victim,” concluded the congressman.