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Stanford sexual assault: father sparks outrage by defending son

Convicted sex offender Brock Turner leave court. PHOTO: AP

Stanford sexual assault: father sparks outrage by defending son

The father of a Stanford University student convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman has sparked outrage by saying his son should not be jailed for “20 minutes of action”.

Brock Turner, 20, was sentenced last week to six months in jail for the assault last year. The maximum sentence for the crime is 14 years.

The story has hit the headlines after claims of white privilege – Turner was a former top swimmer at the university – and the sentencing judge expressed concern about the impact of prison on Turner. Prosecutors wanted a sentence of six years in state prison.

The victim’s impact statement, which was read out in court, has been widely shared on social media.

Prosecutors said in January 2015, Turner had been seen by two witnesses sexually assaulting the woman, who was lying on the ground, unconscious, on the Stanford campus.

Turner tried to run away when challenged by the witnesses, but the pair had tackled and detained him until police officers arrived.

In an excerpt of a statement to the court , Turner’s father, Dan, said his son’s life had been “deeply altered forever”.

“His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve,” he said.

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

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