“I do not know your name – but your words are forever seared on my soul. Words that should be required reading for men and women of all ages,” the letter says.
Last Thursday,Brock Turner, a 20-year-old former Stanford University swimmer, was sentenced to six months in county jail. Turner has admitted to the sexual contact but maintained it was consensual. In a statement to the judge, he cited peer pressure and campus drinking culture as factors in his behavior.
“I am in awe of your courage for speaking out — for so clearly naming the wrongs that were done to you and so passionately asserting your equal claim to human dignity,” Biden’s letter says.
“And I am filled with furious anger,” the letter continues. “Both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth.”
“The statistics on college sexual assault haven’t gone down in the past two decades. It’s obscene, and it’s a failure that lies at all our feet. And you were failed by anyone who dared to question this one clear and simple truth: Sex without consent is rape. Period. It is a crime,” the letter says.
On Monday, a letter written by Turner’s father surfaced. The note was written before his son’s sentencing and spoke of Brock’s character.
In the letter, Dan Turner asks the judge to forego a prison sentence in favor of probation.
“These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways,” Dan writes. “His life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. This is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”
A Change.org petition has been started by the Stanford Association of Students for Sexual Assault Prevention, a student advocacy group, and has gained almost 80,000 signatures.