The prosecutor in the high-profile sexual assault case against former Stanford University student Brock Turner announced Wednesday that he is sponsoring state legislation that would be tougher on those found guilty of sexual assault, inspired by a sentence for Turner that many have criticized as too lenient.
The legislation, sponsored by Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, would add sexual assault of an intoxicated or unconscious person to the list of criminal offenses that are ineligible for probation, ensuring the sentence is served in prison. The legislation says it aims to “close a loophole” that “allows judges to impulsively sentence perpetrators of sexual assault to little or no jail time.”
Turner was convicted on three felony counts of sexual assault: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object. He was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of probation by Judge Aaron Persky, who has faced heavy criticism for the sentence.
“We need to change the law to protect the next Emily Doe from the next Brock Turner,” Rosen said at a press conference Wednesday. “Let’s give the next campus sexual assault victim no reason to fear that her attacker will end up walking around free after spending less time in jail than it takes to finish a single college semester.”
The proposed law is co-sponsored by Democratic State Assembly Members Evan Low and Bill Dodd and Democratic State Senator Jerry Hill, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office.