The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Women Are Fair Game for the Privileged

Jun 20, 2016

Brock Allen Turner, the Stanford University swimmer convicted in March of three felony sex abuses, was sentenced to only six weeks in the county jail–not the 14-year maximum nor even the six years the prosecution asked for. His victim told BuzzFeed News she was disappointed with the “gentle” sentence and angry that Turner still denied sexually assaulting her.

“You have been convicted of violating me, intentionally, forcibly, sexually, with malicious intent, and all you can admit to is consuming alcohol,” said the woman in a statement read in court. “Do not talk about the sad way your life was upturned because alcohol made you do bad things. Figure out how to take responsibility for your own conduct.” A lenient sentence would be “a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults, an insult to me and all women. It gives the message that a stranger can be inside you without proper consent and he will receive less than what has been defined as the minimum sentence ... Someone who cannot take full accountability for his actions does not deserve a mitigating sentence.”

In her statement she describes coming to and finding out what happened to her. “I learned that my ass and vagina were completely exposed outside, my breasts had been groped, fingers jabbed inside me along with pine needles and debris, my bare skin and head had been rubbing against the ground behind a dumpster, while an erect freshman was humping my half naked unconscious body. But I don’t remember, so how do I prove I didn’t like it.”

Judge Persky determined that six months in jail was the “best” punishment for Turner, stating that he asked himself, “Is incarceration in prison the right answer for the poisoning of (the woman’s) life?” He also cited Turner’s lack of criminal record as a factor.

Turner’s father sent a letter to the judge pleading for his son. He wrote, “Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events of Jan17th and 18th. He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile.... His life will never be the one he dreamed about... That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”

That comment, “20 minutes of action,” brought no condemnation by the judge–and that says everything there is to say about the “privileges” that wealthy college males have been thinking of as theirs–indeed, the right to use women’s bodies as they see fit.

Do Judge Persky and Turner’s father belong to the same country club? It doesn’t matter. They belong to the same class.