Gov. Brown OKs sex crime bill tied to Stanford case
Oct 01 2016
The Los Angeles Timesreports that AB 2888 will, "prohibit judges from giving convicted offenders probation when they sexually assault someone who is unconscious or intoxicated".
Brown said in a signing message that while he's generally opposed to adding more mandatory minimum sentences in a state with overcrowded prisons, he signed the bill because "I believe it brings a measure of parity to sentencing for criminal acts that are substantially similar".
Turner was sentenced June 2 to six months in Santa Clara County Jail by Judge Aaron Persky.
Politicians and law enforcement officials have lined up alongside sexual assault survivors to criticize Turner's sentence, back a recall effort against the judge who imposed it and urge Brown to sign the tougher sentencing legislation. "Rape is rape, and rapists like Brock Turner shouldn't be let off with a slap on the wrist". Turner served three months in prison for crimes that carried a maximum penalty of 14 years, sparking a national uproar.
The judge said he was following the probation department's recommendation of probation and county jail time, based on Turner's lack of criminal history, his show of "sincere remorse" and the fact that alcohol was involved, impairing his judgment.
Brock Turner, a former Stanford swimmer, was earlier this year convicted of three felonies. He must register as a sex offender for life. The bill that expands the state's legal definition of rape to include all non-consensual sexual assault.
"All sexual assaults are a violent offense".
But more than two dozen groups dedicated to ending campus sexual assaults urged Brown to veto it, fearing that the punishment would more likely be applied to minority and lower-income defendants than white offenders like Turner.
The sentence, which was lighter than prison terms given at many USA sexual assault trials, generated harsh scrutiny after the online publication of a harrowing statement the victim gave in court describing the devastating effects of the assault. But "when a victim is unconscious or severely intoxicated, the victim is unable to resist, and the perpetrator does not have to use force", lawmakers said in a previous joint statement about why it was necessary to close the loophole. "There is no such thing as a nonviolent sexual assault", Stanford law professor Michele Dauber said.
"This information is crucial to keeping our children safe at school", Dauber said in a statement.