Stanford Woman Shares The Powerful Letter She Read To The Man Who Assaulted Her

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After her rapist was sentenced to only six months in jail for her horrifying assault, his accuser is speaking out. The woman, who has not been publicly identified, shared a full copy of the letter she read at the sexual assault trial of Brock Turner with BuzzFeed News. In March, Turner was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault. A former Stanford University student and prospective 2016 Olympic swimmer, Turner faced 14 years in jail on the convictions, according to The Guardian. However, Judge Aaron Persky decided to sentence him to six months plus probation, saying that “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.” A warning that the excerpts below, as well as the letter itself, contain many potentially triggering subjects and violent imagery. In January of 2015, the victim was found with Turner on top of her, unconscious and half-naked on the ground behind a dumpster, by two people who interrupted the assault. They chased Turner down and held him until police arrived. The woman said that she had no memory of the rape. But in her letter, she describes the aftermath of what she does remember, including waking up in the hospital with pine needles in her hair, blood on her hands and arms, and dirt in her genitalia. She didn’t believe she had been assaulted until she went to the bathroom and discovered her underwear was missing. “The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my vagina and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced. I still don’t have words for that feeling. In order to keep breathing, I thought maybe the policemen used scissors to cut them off for evidence,” she wrote. She described the feeling of learning the details of her case from news reports that also included Turner’s swimming times and the fact that he was losing a prestigious swimming scholarship, and the depression that came from having to relive the experience. But what she said she would never forgive was the insinuation that although she was too drunk to speak coherently, she had given consent and even enjoyed the assault. “On top of all this, he claimed that I orgasmed after one minute of digital penetration,” she wrote. “The nurse said there had been abrasions, lacerations, and dirt in my genitalia. Was that before of after I came?” She told BuzzFeed that she had shared the statement out of disappointment at the leniency of the sentence and anger that Turner had never admitted what he had done. She said that she stood with other women who had suffered assaults like hers, saying that she had fought and spoken out for others like her. Read the letter in full at BuzzFeed News.

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