Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

Summary: This article will discuss the controversial case of Turner and Whelan, highlighting the events that led to the trial and its outcome. The case raises important questions about sexual assault on college campuses, the impact of privilege, and how the legal system handles sexual assault cases.

1. The Case of Turner and Whelan

In January 2015, Stanford student Brock Turner was caught sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Two graduate students, Peter Jonsson and Carl-Fredrik Arndt, saw Turner on top of the woman and chased him down until police arrived. The victim, who remains anonymous, learned of the assault after being contacted by a detective while she was in the hospital for alcohol poisoning.

In July 2015, Turner was indicted on five counts of felony rape and assault with intent to commit rape, and faced a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. Turner pleaded not guilty to all charges and argued that the encounter was consensual. He was released on bail and returned to his home in Ohio.

After months of pretrial hearings, Turner’s trial began in March 2016. During the trial, both the victim and Turner testified. The victim recounted the assault while being cross-examined, and Turner claimed that he and the victim had engaged in consensual sexual activity while intoxicated.

2. The Outcome of the Trial

In June 2016, Turner was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault. However, the sentence handed down by Judge Aaron Persky was just six months in jail and three years of probation – far less than the minimum sentence for such crimes. The judge argued that a longer sentence would have “a severe impact on him” because Turner had no prior criminal record and “has the potential to be successful in life.”

The decision sparked immediate outrage. Critics argued that Turner was given clemency due to his status as a white, wealthy, and privileged athlete. Many pointed to the fact that Judge Persky was also a Stanford alumnus and had ties to the athletics community. The victim’s emotional statement in court went viral and led to a national conversation about sexual assault on college campuses and the legal system’s handling of such cases.

In November 2017, Turner’s sentence was reduced even further to three months in jail and three years of probation. He ultimately served just three months and is now a registered sex offender.

3. The Impact on College Campuses

The Turner case raised important questions about sexual assault on college campuses and how universities handle these issues. In the wake of the trial, many colleges and universities reevaluated their policies and increased efforts to prevent sexual assault and support victims.

One key change has been the implementation of affirmative consent policies, which require that sexual partners receive explicit and ongoing verbal or nonverbal consent from each other throughout a sexual encounter. Many schools have also hired additional staff to handle sexual assault investigations and provide resources and support for survivors.

However, critics have argued that such policies do little to address underlying issues of toxic masculinity, rape culture, and institutional neglect. They point out that universities often prioritize their reputations over the safety and well-being of their students, and that many survivors still face significant barriers to reporting assault and seeking justice.


The case of Turner and Whelan continues to generate controversy and raise important questions about sexual assault, privilege, and justice. While some progress has been made in preventing and addressing sexual assault on college campuses, much work remains to be done to create a more equitable and safe environment for all students.

In the midst of ongoing protests, petitions to remove Judge Persky from office, and increased awareness of these issues, the Turner case serves as a reminder of the power of solidarity, advocacy, and accountability when it comes to combatting sexual violence.

By admin

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