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’s dad turned to the Internet for financial support for their son’s legal defence. Dan Turner, the father of the former Stanford University student convicted of sexual assault, established a legal support fund with a local credit union to help them pay the mounting legal cost of their son.

The 20-year-old was convicted of three felony charges, including assault with intent to commit rape of an unconscious person, in May for sexually assaulting a young woman on the Stanford campus in January 2015. He was caught in the act by two Swedish grad students, who stopped him and reported him to the police.

Read more:
Brock Turner, US student convicted of sexual assault, finally gets his mugshot released
Brock Turner sexual assault: Hero Swedish grad students who stopped rape speak up

Before he was convicted and subsequently sentenced to just six months of prison by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, it took more than a year for the case to be resolved.

In May, a self-described family friend of the Turners set up a Facebook page titled “Turner Family Support Fund” in a bid to help Turner’s parents with their son’s legal fees, according to WHIO. The now-defunct page had about 40 members.

“(Turner’s parents) are dealing with a monumental life-changing and tragic situation with Brock, and their experiences continue to mount. As a mother and friend, I would do anything to help my child and save him,” a note signed by a certain Joni Magnus-Ramsey read.

“I am asking that you donate what you can as every donation not only helps to ease the financial burden, but it is also a show of support, friendship and solidarity. A fund has been set up at Wright Patt Credit Union for those who wish to show their support with a donation to Dan and Carleen Turner,” it continued, adding instructions on how to donate.

WHIO confirmed with the Wright-Patt Credit Union that Dan Turner created the account for the family, and that the credit union account is still active.

The elder Turner was criticised on social media when his letter asking for leniency towards his son was made viral. Dan’s letter was described as lacking of self-awareness, insisting that his son was so deeply affected by the case that he did not even have appetite for his favourite “big ribeye steak.”

“That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life,” Dan wrote.

Turner was a swimmer student athlete in Stanford before the prestigious school, wherein the average tuition fee is US$50,000 (AU$67,000), kicked him out less than two weeks after the incident.

Petition to remove Judge Persky from the bench

In a controversial sentencing, Judge Persky showed leniency toward the defendant and sentenced Turner to just six months’ jail and probation, claiming a longer sentence would have “severe impact” on Turner. The prosecutors asked for six years for Turner.

The sentencing prompted international outcry, with critics calling for the judge’s recall from the bench. It was found out that Persky was also a star athlete in Stanford, where he was the lacrosse team’s captain. This, the critics said, appeared to have impacted his lenient sentencing as he was more sympathetic to the perpetrator than to the victim.

A petition has been launched for Persky’s removal.