Stanford Sexual Assault Defendant's Friend Blames Felony Conviction on Political Correctness

June 7th 2016

Alex Mierjeski

A childhood friend of Brock Turner, the Stanford swimmer convicted last week of felony sexual assault charges, said that Turner's conviction over the assault of an unconscious woman was thanks to "political correctness."

In a letter obtained by New York Magazine's The Cut blog, Leslie Rasmussen petitioned Judge Aaron Persky to let Turner off easy because "he was always the sweetest to everyone" and that "the whole thing is a huge misunderstanding."

Rasmussen elaborates:

"I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him. I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right. But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists.

According to Rasmussen, there is a distinction between "a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot," and a woman, half-naked and unconscious, being humped, groped, and penetrated by foreign objects, as Turner's victim described the interaction in a gut-wrenching letter published by BuzzFeed.

"These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgement [sic]," Rasmussen observes.

The full letter is below:

Leslie Rasmussen letter

Critics online were quick to debunk Rasmussen's explanation.

Turner's six-month sentence last week upset many observers. After letters praising Turner written to judge Persky by friends and family surfaced over the weekend, critics said they could have influenced the short sentence. Persky wrote that a longer sentence might "have a severe impact on [Turner]."

[h/t The Cut]