Stanford Swimmer Brock Turner: Cause and Effect

The infinity fountain at Lakefront Festival of the Arts

The infinity fountain at Lakefront Festival of the Arts

Anne Hirschfeld, Reporter

In sports, one mistake can make people change their original opinion on an athlete.  Brock Turner, the Stanford swimmer who got a minimal sentence for rape charges, has forced people around the country to talk. On January 15th, 2015, outside a frat party on campus, the incident occurred. But are more people talking about Turner, the judge or his victim?

Although his victim has not been publicly identified, her statement addressed directly to Turner, has caused an uproar. As stated in the Buzzfeed article “Here’s The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker”, written by Kate J.M. Baker,  “a life, one life, yours, you forgot about mine. Let me rephrase for you, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin two lives. You and me. You are the cause, I am the effect.” This was part of the victim’s  letter explaining her story since the incident.

Over 18 months after the incident occurred, a trial occurred and the verdict was reached: six months in county jail and probation. The punishment was determined by the judge, Aaron Persky, a former Stanford student himself. But people around the country have taken to social media platforms to discuss the issue.

Former NFL star Brian Banks stated in a video interview with CNN, “I’m Brain Banks, I’m just a guy like everyone else who watches the news and we get caught up on current events. And I feel that the judge in this case, totally mishandled the situation.”

Arrowhead junior and softball player, Courtney Merenkov,  said, “I feel as though, just because he is a swimmer at a well-known school, he is getting special treatment for his wrong doings. By giving him the punishment he received is like saying what he did is okay.”

Arrowhead senior Mikayla Endisch said, “Turner got off with only six months jail time, while this woman that he raped gets to deal with what happened to her for the rest of her life. Turner had the inability to tell the truth to the prosecutor by saying that he was an inexperienced drinker and partier, so they gave him an easier sentence. Giving Turner a short sentence is basically just showing others that rape is okay because the punishment isn’t bad.” She continued by stating, rape victims would beg to differ, because they feel punished their whole life for something out of their control.

On June 10th, CNN released the article, “USA Swimming bans Brock Turner for Life” written by Ray Sanchez, stating that USA Swimming has “banned ex-Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner.” USA Swimming stated that if he was a member, he would have violated their code of conduct.