Brock Turner’s mugshot appears in a textbook’s definition of rape

By @chelean on
Brock Turner
Former Stanford student Brock Turner who was sentenced to six months in county jail for the sexual assault of an unconscious and intoxicated woman is shown in this Santa Clara County Sheriff's booking photo taken January 18, 2015, and received June 7, 2016. Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department/Handout via Reuters

Brock Turner, the American student athlete who only served three of his six months’ sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, is now the textbook definition of rape. A university Criminal Justice 101 textbook, “Introduction to Criminal Justice: Systems, Diversity and Change, 2nd edition,” has plastered the Stanford University undergrad’s mugshot next to the definition of “rape.”

The textbook, by Callie Marie Rennison, showed Turner as an example of a rape case involving alcohol and an unconscious person. Washington State University student Hannah Kendall Shuman took a photo of the book’s page last week. (See photo below.) The caption of the photo reads:

“Brock Turner, a Stanford student who raped and assaulted an unconscious female college student behind a dumpster at a fraternity party, was recently released from jail after serving only three months. Some are shocked at how short this sentence is. Others who are more familiar with the way sexual violence has been handled in the criminal justice system are shocked that he was found guilty and served any time at all. What do you think?”

Turner’s inclusion to the textbook has earned praises from social media. As commenters have said, his face has now been immortalised for his crime. His father was infamously quoted in his letter, saying that the prison sentence requested by the prosecutor was a “steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.” The judge in the case, Aaron Persky, also gave him a lenient sentence of six months in county jail because “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.”

The convict was just 20 years old when he was caught sexually assaulting a 22-year-old unconscious woman behind a dumpster near his frat house in January 2015. Two Swedish graduate students, Peter Lars Jonsson and Carl-Fredrik Arndt, chanced upon them while biking around the campus. The two confronted Turner and seized him when Turner fled. The campus police arrested Turner later.

The unnamed victim attended a Turner’s fraternity party earlier in the night. Her sister testified in court that she saw Turner approaching the victim twice but she pulled away when he attempted to kiss her. The victim did not know Turner prior to that night. She regained consciousness in a hospital hours after Turner assaulted her.

Turner blamed alcohol for his behaviour, while his father asked for leniency for him, saying Turner’s future had been effectively ruined by the incident. Persky, a Stanford graduate, decided against the prosecutor’s recommended six-year sentence and instead gave him six months. Turner was released from Santa Clara County jail just after three months on Sep. 2, 2016.