A letter that added fuel to the national outcry against a six-month sentence handed down to a former Stanford University student who was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman after a fraternity party last year has gone viral with additional edits from an outraged critic.
Brock Turner, 20, was sentenced June 2 to six months in Santa Clara County Jail and three years of probation. A jury unanimously found him guilty in March of three felony sexual assault charges stemming from an attack on a woman on Stanford's campus in January 2015.
Two people held Turner until police arrived after they saw him assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said.
In a three-page letter written by Brock Turner's father, Dan Turner, and published in full by the San Jose Mercury News over the weekend, Dan Turner asked for leniency on his son's behalf.
"His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve," Dan Turner wrote. "That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20-plus years of life."
The letter was submitted to court before Brock Turner's sentencing and drew widespread criticism.
One Twitter user, who identified herself on social media as Ali Ozeri, echoed the outrage in an edited version of the letter posted Monday. The letter has been shared more than 18,000 times and liked over 21,000 times as of Wednesday morning.
"I fixed the letter," Ozeri wrote.
In the original letter, Dan Turner described his son as a dedicated, humble athlete who enjoyed cooking. He wrote that his son and family were "broken and shattered" by the verdict.
"I had to make sure to hide some of my favorite pretzels or chips because I knew they wouldn't be around long after Brock walked in from swim practice," Dan Turner wrote.
"(B)ut these cute details don't have anything to do with the rape he committed," Ozeri wrote.
"Now he barely consumes any foods and eats only to exist," Dan Turner wrote.
"(B)ecause he screwed his own life and many other lives up by raping someone," Ozeri wrote.
Brock Turner was found guilty of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person. The charges do not include rape, which under California law requires a perpetrator to penetrate his or her victim with a sexual organ.
As part of his sentence, Brock Turner is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
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