In a statement to the judge, the 20-year-old swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting a woman behind a dumpster at Stanford University said "party culture" and "poor decision-making" are to blame for his crimes.
"I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk taking behavior that I briefly experienced in my four months at school," Brock Turner's statement reads in part, according to the Guardian. "I’ve lost my chance to swim in the Olympics. I’ve lost my ability to obtain a Stanford degree. I’ve lost employment opportunity, my reputation and most of all, my life."
Turner last week was convicted of three felonies in the January 2015 incident: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to just six months in jail, sparking outrage and petitions for the judge to be recalled.
According to ABC News, Turner said he "made a mistake" because he "drank too much" in the statement, which circulated online this week.
"At this point in my life, I never want to have a drop of alcohol again," Turner said. "I never want to attend a social gathering that involves alcohol or any situation where people make decisions based on the substances they have consumed. I never want to experience being in a position where it will have a negative impact on my life or someone else’s ever again."
He later added: "I want to show that people’s lives can be destroyed by drinking and making poor decisions while doing so. One needs to recognize the influence that peer pressure and the attitude of having to fit in can have on someone. One decision has the potential to change your entire life. I know I can impact and change people’s attitudes towards the culture surrounded by binge drinking and sexual promiscuity that protrudes through what people think is at the core of being a college student. I want to demolish the assumption that drinking and partying are what make up a college lifestyle."
He also said he wants "to let young people know, as I did not, that things can go from fun to ruined in just one night."
The victim responded with her own statement that she read to the court.
"Unfortunately, after reading the defendant's report, I am severely disappointed and feel that he has failed to exhibit sincere remorse or responsibility for his conduct," she said.
"It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of promiscuity. By definition, rape is the absence of promiscuity, rape is the absence of consent, and it perturbs me deeply that he can't even see that distinction."
Turner's statement also was met with angry responses on social media.
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