GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – National outrage continues to grow after a California judge sentenced a convicted rapist, and former Stanford University swimmer, to a six month sentence. Family and friends of the suspect, Brock Turner, sent at least 39 letters to the judge in his defense.
Possibly the most noted, his father’s letter, which pleaded to not let one 20 minute act dictate how the judge looked at his son.
Witnesses of the sexual assault described to jurors Brock aggressively thrusting his hips into his unconscious victim.
“She was unconscious the entire time,” said Carl-Fredrik Arndt. “I checked her and she didn’t move at all.”
People in the East have also weighed in on the heated subject. Pitt County Assistant District Attorney Jay Saunders said these cases are extremely difficult to prosecute.
“It in some ways re-victimizes that person and it can be a very lengthy and taxing ordeal,” he said.
Saunders has been involved in sexual assault and rape cases for nearly a decade in Pitt County. He said before even taking a case to court, they weigh the strengths and weaknesses to help protect the victim.
“It’s even more difficult to move forward with a case and then find out from a jury that there wasn’t enough there,” he said.
Saunders said character witnesses testify all the time when it comes to sentencing for both the victim and suspect. In the Stanford rape case, Superior Judge Aaron Persky decided a six month jail sentence was appropriate.
Persky recently was voted in to another term after being unchallenged in Tuesday’s California primary. However, more than 760,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org demanding Persky step down from his position.