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

Fundraisers in place long-time Comox Valley chef

Peter Bradley recovering from emergency brain surgery

Last Simms Park concert of the season to double as a food bank fundraiser

Bring a donation for the food bank to the My Generation concert, Sunday, Aug. 25

City of Courtenay adds pickleball courts Martin Park lacrosse box

Lacrosse, pickleball, and recreational ball hockey players in the Comox Valley can… Continue reading

Stage 3 water restrictions in the Comox Valley beginning September 3

Restrictions in effect until Sept. 27 for BC Hydro scheduled maintenance

VIDEO: B.C. Mountie killed by drunk driver honoured by memorial playground

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Most Read