Watch a CNN Anchor Read the Stanford Sexual-Assault Victim’s Powerful Letter to Her Assailant

“I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrifed of it.”


Brock Allen Turner, the former Stanford swimmer found guilty on three sexual-assault charges in March, received his sentence last week: six months in a county jail. During the sentencing hearing Thursday, Turner’s father argued that his son, who had been discovered on top of an unconscious woman behind a dumpster last January, should not be punished severely by the courts for “20 minutes of action.” Judge Aaron Persky apparently agreed, explaining that he declined to give Turner the maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison—or even six years, as prosecutors had asked—because “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.”

But the victim’s own words about the assault and its impact—a moving 7,000-word statement directly addressed to Turner in the courtroom—lit up the internet this weekend: BuzzFeed‘s article alone has racked up more than 5.4 million views.

On Monday, Ashleigh Banfield, who hosts CNN’s Legal View, devoted her show to the Stanford case, taking several minutes live on air to read from the victim’s letter. Watch the video above.

The victim’s supporters are now calling for Persky to be recalled from his seat as a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge. Two Change.org petitions—one calling for Persky to be impeached by the state Legislature and another demanding his recall—have collected more than 94,000 signatures in total. “The judge had to bend over backwards to accommodate this young man,” Stanford law professor Michele Dauber told NBC News. “I think he was very persuaded by the background of the young man as an elite athlete.”

With Persky up for reelection this year, California voters might have had a chance to hold him accountable in Tuesday’s California primary. There’s just one problem: Perksy is running unopposed. He will remain on the bench for another six years.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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