January 21, 2019

Fisking the Letter from Brock Turner’s Mother

Below is the letter from the mother of Brock Turner, who was recently convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford University. Two men on bicycles stopped the assault, chased Brock when he ran, and held him until the police arrived. I won’t go into the explicit details of the physical evidence against Brock, but it’s obvious the woman was unconscious and thus unable to give consent, in addition to other physical evidence that shows clearly the attack was brutal and forced on her.

The text below in in black is from Brock’s mother’s letter to the judge prior to sentencing, and the text in red is my response to her.

This is a very long post, so if you don’t read it all, here is what I hope you will take away from it: Neither Brock nor his mother admit to his crimes, despite the witnesses, the evidence, and his conviction. His mother shows no remorse for her son’s actions, or the effect they had, and continue to have, on his victim. Her letter, which is supposed to show what a great guy Brock is, actually demonstrates that he is a self-serving, privileged liar.

Dear Honorable Judge Persky,

Thank-you for the opportunity to write a letter and introduce you to my son, Brock Turner-the REAL Brock Allen Turner.

Here you are, in denial, in the very first sentence. The REAL Brock Turner is not one dimensional. He, like all human beings, is neither 100% good, nor 100% bad. The REAL Brock Turner is, among other things, a convicted sex offender. It is not his whole identity, but it is an important part of it. It must be incredibly difficult for a mother to admit this to herself, let alone to a judge, but until you do, you are complicit in the denial in which your son continues to immerse himself.

I am abundantly proud to call him my son; he is my heart, my soul, and brings me great joy. From the time he was a little boy, Brock has always been very easy-going, kind, considerate, and respectful. He is incredibly goal-oriented, hard-working, dedicated, studious, humble, and somewhat Introverted. He quietly performs and achieves while shying away from any attention and recognition.

Well, sure, you’re his mother. He never tried to sexually assault you, and never sexually assaulted anyone in front of you. How he acts around you has no bearing on what he did on the terrible night in question.

He always had a smile on his face, a shy grin that was so endearing. I use past tense inreferring to his smile because since the verdict, he has not smiled. The expression on his face is one of pure pain and anguish. It is heart breaking.

Because your son committed a sexual assault, it is appropriate that he feel bad about it. It is appropriate that he mourn the positive self-image he used to have. These feeling are meant to help him take responsibility for what he did. Healing and smiling can come later, but if he is going to get past this, he needs to start by feeling terrible about what he has done, and then use that to try to find ways to make amends.

I was lucky to be a stay-at-home mom after Brock was born so of our three kids, he is the one I spent the most time with throughout his life. Since his siblings were in college, he also had 3 years of high school being an only child. We sat down to dinner every night together and had great conversations about his future plans and aspirations. He had big dreams and goals and we knew he would achieve all of them because of his strict work ethic and drive.

It’s great that you spent so much time with him, and it’s not your fault that he did what he did. But what you’re speaking about here is his privilege, and living a privileged childhood is not a good reason for a light sentence for a terrible crime.

He struggled with learning the alphabet and reading in his early days and he was sent to the reading tutor at our school. Some kids might be teased about this but his teacher told me he came back and told the class how great it was and how much fun he had; pretty soon the other kids were asking if they could go to the reading tutor. The teacher told me she had never had that happen before but Brock had a very clever way to turn seeing the tutor into a positive.

So you, his mother, admit he has shown, since his early childhood, a pattern of self-deception, and of drawing others into his made-up version of reality. After he was caught assaulting the woman in this case, he used these skills to try to convince the police that the woman he assaulted “liked it.” He used these skills to try to convince others that the whole episode was some kind of misunderstanding. Fortunately, the jury in this case was not as gullible as his young schoolmates apparently were.

He also set a goal for himself that he would not have to see the tutor by the end of the year and he met that goal.

So, even as he lied to his friends about how much “fun” he was having, he was working as hard as he could to try to get out of it. And you, his mother, tell this story with pride. Pride in how he lied to his friends so well that they believed him. Pride despite your knowledge, based on his goal to be done with the tutor as soon as possible, that he was honing his skills at deception. You see the problem here, I hope?

Even as a youngster, he was setting goals and achieving them. He participated in Cub Scouts during grade school with Dan as his Den leader. The scouts sell popcorn in the fall and after a couple of years, Brock decided he wanted to be the top seller for our region. Dan and I do not take order forms to work if our kids are setting a product-it's on them to sell. Brock would go door to door to sell, he even got a 90-year old lady to buy some. She couldn't eat popcorn but was impressed that Brock took the time to sit with her on her front porch and talk to her. That’s the kind of kid he was- very respectful and polite.

Here you move on from describing him deceiving his friends, to showing him being willing to sit and talk to a lonely old lady for a while in order to sell her some popcorn she can’t eat so he could win a contest. How self-serving and dishonest is that? Was he really being respectful, or is this just another example of him being manipulative? After he learned how lonely she was and how much his visit meant to her, did he ever go back to visit her again, or did he no longer have any interest in her once he had used her for his own purposes? Obviously not, or you would have mentioned it.

Our elementary school put on several programs over the years and the big one was the 6th grade musical. Brock's class did Oliver and he was chosen to play Bill Sykes, the bad guy. His older brother Brent had prayed Bill Sykes 5 years before and I think that's why the teacher cast Brock in the role. For Brent it was a bit of type-casting (he was a handful in elementary school), while Brock wouldn't stop smiling. The teacher said he is supposed to be a mean guy and she could not get Brock to act mean. That's just him-a nice guy.

Hold on, what do you mean by a “he was a handful?” Maybe he wasn't the perfect kid you are trying to make him out to be. And how does smiling make him a nice person? People smile for all kinds of reasons, including embarrassment and to try to make themselves appear to be “nice” when what they are thinking is far from it. Mean people can and do smile. Not to mention that the part he was given in a school play has absolutely nothing to do with the sexual assault at hand in this case.

[Here I have taken out a long paragraph about Brock swimming].

He put a lot of pressure on himself and had quite a nervous stomach. He vomited before many a race but he always seemed to swim better after throwing up. His coaches used to worry about this but it seemed to work for him.

Brock swimming has nothing to do with his sexual assault, and has no bearing on how much time he deserves to spend in prison. I seriously don’t know why you’re so proud of him throwing up before every race. He certainly has a much better reason to have a nervous stomach now that the world knows him as a sexual predator.

[Here I have taken out two more long paragraphs about Brock swimming, ending with him swimming in high school].

He missed out on many social activities as well. He did hang out with his swimmer friends on weekends but because of their early mornings, they were never out late.

Maybe missing out on social activities wasn’t a good thing. Perhaps hanging out with other boy jocks all the time and not spending time with girls his age helped inculcate him into the rape culture that we see so prevalent in this country. However, this whole long story about his swimming is still just a story of privilege. He could swim at school because he was privileged to attend a school with a swim team, and because he was privileged to not have to work after school to help his parents feed and clothe and house his family, and because he was privileged to have a safe place to go home at night to do his homework and to sleep, and countless other privileges which ought to have no bearing on his prison sentence.

He has a very kind and thoughtful side to him. He always went out of his way to do special things for his girlfriend, Lydia. Asking a girl to dances is a big deal around here.

Being nice to his girlfriend in no way mitigates his sexual assault of an unconscious woman. But wait, you provide no evidence whatsoever that he was nice to his girlfriend.

For Homecoming senior year, we had a new black lab puppy and Lydia just loved the pup. Brock put a sign around Zekers neck with “Homecoming?” on it-that was how he asked her and Lydia loved it. However, his 'prom-posal' was the talk of their class; Brock knew Lydia had big expectations and he was having a tough time coming up with a good way to ask her. She invited him to a Dayton Dragons baseball game (they are a Cincinnati Reds farm team) and he called the Dragons to see if they would put “Lydia will you go to prom with me?” on the Jumbotron scoreboard. They did this and during the 3rd inning, Lydia was asked to prom!

Using these ways to ask his girlfriend out in high school in no way mitigates his sexual assault of a stranger in college. Not to mention that none of this describes any “special things” he did for his girlfriend. Did he help her with her homework, or was he there for her when she struggled with a difficult situation, or did he make her something special in shop class? No, all you describe is a guy who, self-servingly, invited his girlfriend to a prom in a public way in order to maintain and enhance his own reputation.

Brock is also very understanding of his very sentimental and emotional mom. The day we moved him in at Stanford, we went out to dinner and when we dropped him at the dorm he hugged me for a long time. As he walked to the door of the dorm, he turned around and gave a final wave. I was sobbing but he knew I needed that last wave. Leaving him that night was the absolute hardest thing I had ever done.

Waving goodbye to his mother in no way mitigates his sexual assault. Nor is it, in any way, an unusual thing for a person to do. If this is the bar you set for someone being “understanding,” it’s a very low bar.

We got to see him in one college swim meet at Texas A&M. All the Stanford swim parents were at this particular meet and it was the first time we saw Brock since leaving him at school. He came up in the stands and hugged both Dan and I and he was the only freshman boy to do this. Some of the other parents commented how they wished their boys were that thoughtful. He knew that we needed to touch him-we really missed him. It was so hard having him so far from home. When he was home at Christmas, he broke down crying because he was so homesick.

Reread that one more time. First, you say he’s so much more thoughtful that the other boys because he hugged his parents at the swim meet. Then, you admit he wasn’t being thoughtful at all. No, he hugged you because he was homesick – in fact, so homesick that he cried about it over the winter break. This is further evidence of you trying to twist the facts to make him appear to be concerned about other people, like the story about the old lady and the popcorn, and like the story of the prom invitation, when in fact he is just being self-serving.

Brock also has an incredibly kind heart toward the more disenfranchised members of our society. This comes from having an uncle who was severely mentally retarded, had cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. My kids were around my brother from the time they were babies and they all learned quickly how to play and interact with him. Scott did not speak other than to say “bye bye”. He loved playing with blocks and puzzles so he was kind of like a big-sized toddler. Brock was especially taken with his uncle and spent a lot of time with him. My brother lived at home until his death at age 38. Brock was in the first grade when Scott died.

So, Brock spent time with his uncle when Brock was too young to have a choice about spending time with him, and when he was too young to understand anything about any of his uncle’s disabilities. This has no bearing on how much time he deserves for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

My mom, sister, and I remember how Brock adjusted the quilt covering my brother because it had to be just right for Uncle Scotty. Brock had several classmates who had special needs and his teachers would always say how he was such a nice friend and went out of his way to include the kids. This continued on through high school when he participated with the Oakwood Adapted Athletics (Special Olympics) swim team. He served as an able-bodied partner with the Special Olympians. I will never forget the final meet during his senior year. One of the swimmers, a boy named Theodor, wanted a blue ribbon more than anything. Brock promised him that their relay would get a blue ribbon. Well, the first relay they swam they came in 2nd This was the ONLY time in swimming that I ever saw Brock upset after a race. He did not want to let Theodor down. They had one more relay and Brock made sure they came in first so Theodor got his blue ribbon! I have always been so proud of Brock for participating with the Special Olympics team during high school. It is very near and dear to my heart and he did it because he genuinely cared for the kids.

So he didn’t learn the lesson that you shouldn’t make promises you can’t be sure to keep. I don’t know how he “made sure” they got the blue ribbon, but you seem not to understand that for every kid who wins a blue ribbon, there are many other kids who do not. Brock may care about those who are closest to him, but so far there has been no talk, whatsoever, about him having any compassion or caring for anyone who is not close to him in some way.

There have been many references to Brock being from a wealthy, privileged background and he thinks he is entitled. Your honor, this could not be further from the truth. Dan and I are a working middle-class couple with Midwestern values.

One of the problems with privilege is that it is very hard for people to see their own privilege. See the list above of some of the ways in which Brock was, and is, privileged. People can be “working class” and have “Midwestern values” – whatever that is supposed to mean – and still be privileged in many ways.

Trust me when I say that Silicon Valley, CA is vastly different from the south suburbs of Dayton, OH. We both grew up in Dayton and attended the local public college Wright State University and we lived at home with our parents.

So, Brock was both privileged enough to be able to attend college and to have parents and who went to college, and who were privileged enough not to have to work after school to pay for room and board and who knows what else your parents provided for you, allowing you the privilege of more time to study and to be successful in school.

Dan is an electrical engineer and works as a civil servant for the Air Force.

Brock is privileged to have a father with degree in electrical engineering, and who has a full time job. He is privileged to have a father who lives at home with his mother, who is not a drug dealer or drug addict, and who is not in prison.

His dad grew up in an orphanage, fought in World War II in the South Pacific, and then worked for NCR. His mom worked full-time for the Air Force back when mothers stayed at home.

Brock is privileged to have grandparents who were privileged to have good paying full time jobs, and to not have to worry about workplace or housing or school discrimination. Brock comes from a long line of privilege.

I am a registered nurse and spent the majority of my career in surgery at a Level Trauma Center with a specialty in gynecology surgery.

Brock is privileged because mother has a full time good paying job and she did not have to worry about workplace or housing or school discrimination. He is privileged to have a mother who lives at home with his father, who is not a drug dealer or drug addict, and who is not in prison.

My dad, a retired school principal, grew up with his four siblings raised by a single mother who worked cleaning offices for NCR. My mom is also a nurse and still works in surgery at the age of 79.

Brock’s other grandparents were privileged to have good paying full time jobs, and to not have to worry about workplace or housing or school discrimination.

We do NOT come from money, rather the opposite. Brock's brother Brent graduated in 2014 from The University of Cincinnati with a Biomedical engineering degree and he works for a company called Mammotome in Cincinnati. He currently has 30K in student loan debt.

Brock’s brother is privileged to have good paying full time job, and to not have to worry about workplace or housing or school discrimination. The fact that he has some debt does not mean he is not privileged.

Our daughter Caroline graduated last summer from UC with a degree in Fine Arts. She currently has 60K in student loan debt.

Brock’s sister is privileged to have degree from a good university, and to not have to worry about workplace or housing or school discrimination. The fact that she has some debt does not mean she is not privileged.

She is unemployed having quit her job at a coffee shop to stay with Brock after the verdict.

She is so privileged that she was able to quit her job without fear of starving or becoming homeless.

Our kids have student loan debt because while Dan and I both have decent jobs, we don't make enough to afford to pay for college.

The fact that you could not pay for college for your children does not mean you are not privileged. The very fact that your children were able to attend college makes them, and you, privileged, but you are too blind to see it.

Now, with all of the debt we have accumulated from this trial and the 14 months leading up to is…let’s just say our financial situation is precarious and unstable.

Brock is privileged for all the reasons I listed above, plus he was privileged to have parents who were willing and able to accumulate debt to help him throughout the last 14 months. He is privileged because he did not have to rely on a public defender, like so many other people have to do. He is privileged because his parents were complicit in his 14 months of denial about his sexual assault. He is privileged to have parents who, rather than helping him to admit to what he did wrong and convincing him to plead guilty to a crime for which he was, in fact, guilty, instead aided and abetted him in further traumatizing the woman he assaulted by helping to make it possible for him to go through with the trial.

Our lives now exist in 2 phases-prior to the weekend of Jan. 17/18, 2015 and after that weekend.

How much more so is the life of the woman Brock assaulted divided into two phases?

The weekend started out pretty exciting for Dan and -we sold the home we raised the kids in after Brock graduated. We needed to downsize not only the size of the house but our payment.

Brock was privileged to live in a house his parents owned, rather than living in an overcrowded apartment, and rather than being homeless. He was privileged to study in peace and quiet, without his mother turning tricks or fighting with drug dealers in the other room, and without hearing gun shots next door, and without fearing he would be shot or mugged on the way to school if he walked to school alone.

And, don’t forget, the weekend started out pretty great for the woman Brock assaulted, too. She started out the weekend not knowing what it was like to be the victim of a brutal attack.

Having Brock in school across the country meant added expenses so we needed some extra money.

Brock was privileged to have parents who were willing and able to make sacrifices to allow him to go to a school across the country, without him having to pay all the costs himself.

We moved into our new home on Jan. 17, 2015. Then we got that fateful call from Brock on Sunday the 18th and our world has been spinning apart ever since. This house now reminds me of the horror of that moment.

You mention “the horror of that moment” without any thought to the horror of the woman who was so brutally assaulted. I wonder what your son said to you. Was it, “Mom, I brutalized an unconscious woman, and I got caught. I’m in big trouble and I’m afraid I’ll get thrown off the swim team. Can you help?”

I have not decorated the house nor have I hung anything on the walls. I am a mom who loves family pictures but I haven't had the heart to put photos around of our family being happy. How can l? We will never be happy again. Those happy family times are gone forever, replaced by despair, fear, depression, anxiety, doubt, and dread. I don't think I have been able to take a deep breath since this happened.

This is normal. It is a terrible thing to find out your son is a predator. I don’t blame you for not wanting to put up pictures of your son, the predator, in your house. It must be terrible to reconcile who you thought your son was with this terrible thing he has done.

My first thought upon wakening every morning is “this isn't real, this can't be real Why him? Why HIM? WHY? WHY?” I have cried every single day since Jan. 18. This is on my mind every moment.

I hope what you mean by “Why HIM?” is, “Why did it have to be him who did such a terrible thing?” It is normal to cry about this. If you’re asking why he was arrested for such a heinous crime, the answer, which should be obvious to you by now, is, “Because he’s guilty. GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!”

But in the months leading up to the trial, we had hope. Brock told us what happened and his accounting of the events of that night never changed from the first time he told us everything. He was a shy and awkward 19-year old, far away from home trying to fit in with the swimmers he idolized.

Decent people do not try to “fit in” with other people by sexually assaulting other people. Even if he told you a consistent story, it cannot explain away the witness testimony or the physical evidence of his crime.

He is the most trust-worthy and honest person I know. He was telling the truth. We knew once he had the opportunity to tell what happened this would all go away. We even had a college coach contact his Dayton Raiders coach inquiring about Brock’s status-this coach had recruited him before and still wanted Brock to come and swim for him, We felt that was a positive sign and Brock started swimming again. We had some hope.

You are in denial. There were two witnesses to what your son did. There is physical evidence proving what your son did. Your son tried to run away from the scene of the crime. It is time to come to grips that your son, once again, was lying to try to protect himself, just like he lied to his classmates about the tutor, but this time about something much, much more important.

Then that awful, horrible, terrible, gut-wrenching, life-changing verdict was read. I know what a broken heart feels like. it is a physical pain that starts just below the collar bone and extends to below the rib cage, it is a crushing and heavy ache that feels like I am being squeezed. This feeling has not left my body since the verdict.

I am truly sorry you have to feel this way. What happened is not your fault. However, what happened is 100% your son’s fault, and you helped him to drag out the ordeal for his victim, by supporting him through the trial. That horrible, gut-wrenching feeling should have happened for you over a year ago, when you first saw the evidence against your son. If you had admitted his guilt to yourself back then, you would be much further along your path to healing than you are now, but instead you are still stuck in denial.

This verdict has destroyed us, Brock is a shattered and broken shell of the person he used to be. My once vibrant and happy boy is distraught, deeply depressed, terribly wounded, and filled with despair. His smile is gone forever-that beautiful grin is no more. When I look into his eyes I see fear and anguish. His voice is barely above a whisper and he keeps himself hunched aver almost trying not to be noticed. He trembles uncontrollably.

It is a good sign that he feels bad about himself, if he feels bad because he realizes he did a terrible thing to another human being, and if he is feeling the deep remorse that is appropriate in this situation. However, if he is feeling terrible only because of what he, himself has lost, as a result of his own actions, and if he still does not take responsibility for what he has done, then he in not on a path to healing. Your job, as his mother, is to help him to admit what he has done, and to grieve over what he has done, so you can help him on a path to living a better life in the future.

He is crushed that the jury ruled against him. He has lost so much weight because he barely eats anything. He is utterly terrified and traumatized by this.

He is in denial. He should be crushed that he did such a terrible thing to another human being. He should be losing weight because he can’t believe how selfishly he acted throughout the trial and the months leading up to it. He should be terrified and traumatized by realizing how he self-servingly continued to victimize the woman he assaulted by continuing to deny what he did. Look at the evidence. He is guilty. The jury’s verdict was just. This, above all else, should teach him that he needs to look beyond himself, to stop being so self-serving, and to start to care about the effect his actions have on other people.

We are devastated beyond belief.

Brock owes you an apology for putting you through this. Not as much as he owes an apology to the woman he assaulted, of course, but you’re on the list.

My beautiful, happy family will never know happiness again.

That’s just hyperbole. Of course you can know happiness again. And the fastest path to that happiness it to help your son through his denial and into remorse for his actions, so he, and you, can begin to heal.

We all love Brock so much and to see him in this much pain and agony is indescribable. Dan and I start our day standing in our kitchen hugging and sobbing. I've known him for 31 years and the only time I saw him cry was when his father died from Alzheimerls disease. Now my strong and handsome husband breaks down crying several times a day. He is hurting for his son. We all are-Brock has 3 grandparents still living and they are shattered by this.

Brock owes all of you a big apology for committing such a terrible crime and for drawing out this ordeal for far longer than he should have.

He has spent a great deal of time with them, in fact-he spent a lot of the past year helping them. My dad has had major heart surgery, eye surgeries, and an ankle replacement so Brock has been a huge help to he and my mom. But they have lost their joy. This verdict has affected so many people here in Ohio who know and love Brock.

All of you who are upset by the verdict need to take a long, hard look at the evidence, and ask yourselves, do you really feel worse for Brock than for the woman he assaulted? If so, you are part of the problem. You are part of the rape culture in this country that so many of us are railing against. Brock brought the verdict on himself by committing this crime, while the woman he assaulted in no way whatsoever deserved what he did to her, and her life is shattered in exponentially worse ways than Brock’s life is.

Your honor, I beg of you to show Brack mercy. He has never been in trouble,

Because he never got caught doing the drugs he was into taking in the years before he assaulted this innocent woman.

never even had a demerit in high school he studied, swam, worked hard-he has lived an exemplary life.

Being a good student and swimmer doesn’t excuse him from assaulting another human being. And nothing in your letter, nothing at all, shows anything exemplary about his life. It reads like an ordinary life, except for your son being a good liar and more than a bit self-serving.

He will contribute to society in a positive way, it will just be a different path now. Please send him a message that his life still has meaning, that you believe in him. Please give him hope.

I hope he will admit his guilt, and go on to speak to others about rape culture, how he contributed to it, and how he benefitted from it. But there is no evidence so far that he will do so.

His life is forever impacted and drastically altered by the ramifications of these guilty verdicts. Ohio is one of the strictest states with the sexual offender registry. Brock will have to register at the highest tier which means he is on the same level as a pedophile/child molester, there is no differentiation. The public records will reflect a Tier 3 so people will wrongly assume he Is a child molester.

So, are you saying it’s okay to sexually assault someone, as long as they are an adult? Because that’s what it sounds like. Your son is now registered as a sex offender because he is, in fact, a sex offender. He committed a sexual assault against an unconscious woman, without her consent. That is the very definition of a sex offense. The registry was created to help protect the public from people like your son.

I fear for his lifelong safety. So he, at the tender age of 20, now will have to register every 60 days for the rest of his life. He will five a lifetime of scrutiny, he lost 2 jobs just because he was accused of this, now he faces of lifetime of struggling for decent work.

Your son, who denies he has lived a lifetime of privilege despite the ample evidence of privilege that you describe in your own letter, who has never suffered discrimination for things over which he has no control, such as his gender, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender identity, will now suffer discrimination based on something over which he had absolute control: his own criminal actions. He brought this on himself, and now he will suffer the consequences.

Can he be on a college campus? I don't know. He WILL earn a college degree even if he has to do it 100% online.

Good for him. You are able to make this claim because he does still benefit from many of his privileges, even though he is now a registered sex offender.

If he ever has children, he won't be able to take them to a public park and push them on a swing, he won’t be able to volunteer at their school, he won't be able to teach Sunday school, he won’t be able to be their Scout leader, he won't be able to coach them, he won't be able to chaperone a class field trip or help with a homeroom party …this is his future life.

He earned these restrictions by sexually assaulting an innocent human being.

I beg of you, please don't send him to jail/prison. Look at him. He won't survive it. He will be damaged forever and I fear he would be a major target.

Every single human being who is sent to jail or prison is damaged forever by it. Many of them are a target, for various reasons. Some of them admit their mistakes, learn from their experience, and move on with their lives. Others, like your son, wallow in denial and self pity, ignoring the harm they have done to their victims.

Stanford boy, college kid, college athlete- alÎ the publicity……..this would be a death sentence for him.

This is hyperbole. You show no understanding or empathy for the parents of children who are, actually, sentenced to death. Your son committed a terrible crime, and compounded it by forcing his victim to live through a trial. Your son earned a much longer prison sentence than the one he got. He earned a sentence long enough for it to force him to admit his crimes, to show remorse for them, and to resolve to never commit such crimes again. Unfortunately, he will only serve about 3 months. This sentence is a great miscarriage of justice.

Having lost everything he has ever worked for his entire life and knowing the registry is a requirement for the rest of his life certainly is more than harsh.

His crime, and his insistence on the trial, were more than harsh on the woman he assaulted. Why can’t you bring yourself to acknowledge that what he did is far, far worse than being on a registry?

His dreams have been shattered by this. No NCAA Championships. No Stanford degree, No swimming in the Olympics (and I honestly know he would have made a future team), no medical school, no becoming an Orthopedic surgeon  …all gone.

For the woman he assaulted: A feeling of safety, a belief that she can go to a party and not be sexually assaulted, the confidence that people who commit a crime will admit to it in the face of witnesses and overwhelming evidence, the knowledge that her body is her own and that she has control over what happens to her own body, the confidence that there are no pictures of her naked body parts in the public domain…all gone.

Your honor, please be kind and merciful to my beautiful son. He is suffering and will continue to pay for this for his entire lifetime.

Your son deserves to suffer. The woman he assaulted does not deserve to suffer, but she has suffered, and is continuing to suffer, because of what your son did to her. Until your son admits to what he did, he will never be able to begin to get past this.