Convicted rapist and former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner’s ex-girlfriend has written a letter, which was included in court documents, defending him and painting him in a different light than that which has been presented in national media.
Turner was convicted of three felony counts, including including intent to commit rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object of an intoxicated person, and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object in what has become known as the Stanford rape case.
“He never once pressured me into any situation or decision that I didn’t feel true to myself in,” ex-girlfriend Lydia Pocisk wrote, according to a copy of the letter that was obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle. Pocisk referred to Turner as her “dearest friend”.
In her letter, Pocisk notes that the duo met in middle school and dated their junior and senior years of high school. She described him as a “kind, loving, respectful, relaxed, silently hilarious, and determined individual.”
She added, “I will forever wish the memory of having to write this goes away, I pray everyday for only the best for my dear friend and I live every day in fear of June 2nd, for the best guy I have ever gotten to know may be taken away from me.”
Turner, 20, was sentenced to six months in a county jail with probation on June 2. He will also need to be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life. The sentence was met by a tremendous backlash, including personal attacks on Judge Aaron Persky, who handed it down. Many saw it as lenient compared to the original suggestion of six years’ jail time.
As a result, at least 10 prospective jurors have refused to serve on a panel of a different rape case being judged by Perksy. National Public Radio writes that on Tuesday, Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen filed a peremptory challenge against Judge Persky preventing him from deciding whether a former Kaiser Permanente surgical nurse should be tried for allegedly sexually assaulting an intoxicated and sedated patient.
Rosen’s decision reportedly arrived just one day after Judge Persky abruptly dismissed charges against a San Jose woman in an unrelated misdemeanor theft trial and drew criticism for his “unilateral” decision.
According to NPR, Rosen issued a prepared statement addressing the matter. Part of it read: “We are disappointed and puzzled at Judge Persky’s unusual decision to unilaterally dismiss a case before the jury could deliberate. After this and the recent turn of events, we lack confidence that Judge Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing in which a male nurse sexually assaulted an anesthetized female patient.”
A change.org petition calling for Persky’s removal has received over 1.2 million signatures so far. However, it does not hold legal clout and it is unlikely Persky will be removed form the bench, given that he ran for re-election unopposed.
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