Editorial: Persky’s ruling a setback to equality

What was he thinking?

It’s hard to accept Judge Aaron Persky’s sentencing of Stanford athlete Brock Turner at face value.

On June 2, Turner was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault on an unconscious 23-year-old woman behind a dumpster.

Not charged; convicted. Not one charge; three.

Most following the case expected swift, harsh punishment, particularly considering the person in charge of sentencing. Persky touts himself as a defender of battered women, has served on the executive board of the Support Network for Battered Women, and has spent much of his legal career prosecuting criminals involved in sex crimes.

Instead, the sentence announced – and Persky’s reasoning behind it – left most jaws agape, and critics (momentarily) speechless.

“A prison sentence would have a severe impact on (Turner). I think he will not be a danger to others,” Persky said when handing down a six-month sentence.

Persky’s ruling, as well as Brock Turner’s father’s statement to the court (“… a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action…” and that his son “… has never been violent to anyone, including his actions on the night of Jan. 17, 2015…), both reek of class privilege and gender inequality.

In Persky’s biography he supplied to media when he was running for Santa Clara County Superior Court, he claims to “focus on the prosecution of sexually violent predators, working to keep the most dangerous sex offenders in custody in mental hospitals.”

Apparently, Dan Turner and Judge Persky are of the same opinion that sexually assaulting an unconscious woman does not constitute sexually violent behaviour.

When considering this case, on the heels of the ruling in Canadian court, clearing former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi of sexual assault, is it any wonder that (according to statscan.ca) less than four per cent of sexual assaults are ever reported to police?

We fool ourselves into believing that times have changed, and equality is here; “justice for all” and all that malarkey.

Then someone like Judge Persky sets society back a couple of decades, if not more.

His “slap on the hand” sentencing was a slap in the face of all abused women.

What was he thinking? Only he knows.

–Terry Farrell

 

Just Posted

Sarah Rebitt named the Vanier recipient of the Governor General’s Award

Sarah Rebitt was named the recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s Award… Continue reading

Stolen kayak tops Comox Valley RCMP report

Comox Valley RCMP report week of Sept. 18-2

Dead motorcyclist was member of Facebook group that raced on Mount Washington road

Some group members record their rides and post times to page

UPDATE: Motorcyclist dead following crash on Strathcona Parkway

A 29 year old man has died following a motorcycle crash on… Continue reading

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Sept. 25, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Sept. 25, 2018… Continue reading

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read