Stanford U Defends Its Role in Rape Case

June 7, 2016

Outrage is growing over a judge's six-month sentence last week to a former Stanford University swimmer, Brock Turner, who was found guilty of raping an unconscious woman outside a fraternity. He was caught because two Stanford students saw what was going on, intervened and tackled him. Many are saying that the judge gave far too light a sentence and seemed more concerned about the impact of jail time on Turner than the impact of his attack on the woman. Her courtroom statement, published on BuzzFeed, has attracted widespread readership and support for her. Meanwhile, many observers of the case are furious that Turner's father described the rape as "20 minutes of action."

Turner withdrew from Stanford, but with scrutiny of the case growing, the university on Monday released a statement defending its role, and responding to what it called "misinformation" about that role.

"Stanford University did everything within its power to assure that justice was served in this case, including an immediate police investigation and referral to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for a successful prosecution," said the statement. "Stanford urges its students to do the right thing and intervene and we are proud of our students for stopping this incident. Many other student witnesses cooperated in the investigation. Once Stanford learned the identity of the young woman involved, the university reached out confidentially to offer her support and to tell her the steps we were taking. In less than two weeks after the incident, Stanford had conducted an investigation and banned Turner from setting foot on campus -- as a student or otherwise. This is the harshest sanction that a university can impose on a student."

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