Stanford Rapist Mugshot Finally Released As Victim’s Letter Is Read on CNN
The case of Stanford rapist Brock Turner grows more upsetting by the day.
After the 20-year-old was sentenced to just 6 months in prison — despite being found guilty on all counts of rape — his mugshot was just released by authorities, more than 16 months after his arrest.
Cries of racial disparity have surrounded the sentence as people question whether it would have been the same if Turner were black.
An Instagram meme going viral today also points out the glaring disparity between the first photo released of Turner — a smiling, fresh-faced student — and that of Trayvon Martin, who was portrayed as a hoodie-wearing menace after he was shot dead in 2012.
And yesterday, CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield dedicated almost the entirety of her show, CNN’s Legal View, to reading the devastating words of Turner's 23-year-old victim.
That victim bravely read a letter to her rapist in court, detailing how he had ruined her life after sexually assaulting her behind a dumpster while she was unconscious in January 2015. He has never apologised for the attack.
In March of this year, Brock was convicted of all three charges in relation to the rape — assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.
He will likely only serve three out of his six-month sentence.
The only images of Aaron shown on TV and in print up until this point, were his yearbook photos and appearances in court, as the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department denied multiple requests for the mugshot to be released.
Twitter users specifically were quick to point out how the media routinely shows mugshots of black criminals and suspects paired with the word “rape,” while most of the coverage of Brock’s case tended to focus on his swimming achievements and the fact he was a Stanford student, deliberately avoiding the R-word.
That Brock Turner was arrested AND convicted of felony rape and we still don't have his mugshot yet? Just his Abercrombie & Fitch photos?Shaun King (@ShaunKing) June 6, 2016
At 7-Eleven, for $1 I can buy 1000 mugshots of poor people and people of color, but when it's a rich white boy, suddenly it's #NoMugShot.Jooooosh (@bathroompolice) June 6, 2016
“Stories of Turner illustrated with school portraits resists the visual classification of him as a criminal body,” Jezebel’s Stassa Edwards writes. “In effect, the absence of a mugshot preserves his promising reputation.”
The case incensed new ire over the weekend when Stanford law professor Michele Dauber released a letter from Dan Turner, Brock’s father, in which Dan argues that his son’s sentence is a steep price to pay for “20 minutes of action.”
With the mugshot release, the father's letter, and the victim’s letter, we’re now seeing Brock for who he really seems to be.
“I am no stranger to suffering. You made me a victim. In newspapers my name was ‘unconscious intoxicated woman,’ 10 syllables, and nothing more than that,” the victim said in court.
“For a while, I believed that that was all I was. I had to force myself to relearn my real name, my identity. To relearn that this is not all that I am.
"I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt, my life was put on hold for over a year, waiting to figure out if I was worth something.”
If you’ve been sexually assaulted, or anyone you know has, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) for confidential and non-judgemental support, as well as connections to local resources.