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

Comox Bike Company YANA Ride early bird registration deadline looming

Comox Bike Company YANA Ride early bird registration deadline is approaching fast.… Continue reading

Sailing cancellations as Baynes Sound Connector set to undergo maintenance

Travellers and residents travelling to/from Buckley Bay and Denman Island will have… Continue reading

Team effort rescues injured mountain biker in Cumberland

A team effort between Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue, the Cumberland… Continue reading

Museum hosts birthday celebration for 103-year-old Comox Valley resident

HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial welcomes June Gillrie

Tales from MusicFest: The sweet, down-home sounds of ‘Americana’

Asleep at the Wheel, Los Texmaniacs among legendary acts coming to the Comox Valley

VIDEO: Stop-motion artist recreates Kawhi Leonard’s famous buzzer-beater

It took Jared Jacobs about 40 hours to make the video, on top of the research

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Most Read