Stanford University Permanently Bans A Former Student Convicted Of Sexual Assault

In addition to his sentence, Brock Turner can never set foot on the campus again

Last week, a 20-year-old former Stanford student named Brock Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman at a party in Palo Alto, California last January.

More specifically, “The Ohio native was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.”

The legal process has been unfolding for almost a year-and-a-half now, but the announcement of Turner’s conviction last week, subsequent sentencing and letters being made public from both the victim and Turner’s father have catalyzed a renewed fervency in conversations about rape culture and on-campus sexual assault in the United States.

Today, Stanford University released its own statement on the matter, making it entirely clear that Turner, who dropped out last year following his arrest, is no longer welcome—in any capacity—on school grounds.

Stanford University did everything within its power to assure that justice was served in this case, including an immediate police investigation and referral to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for a successful prosecution.

Stanford urges its students to do the right thing and intervene and we are proud of our students for stopping this incident. Many other student witnesses cooperated in the investigation. Once Stanford learned the identity of the young woman involved, the university reached out confidentially to offer her support and to tell her the steps we were taking. In less than two weeks after the incident, Stanford had conducted an investigation and banned Turner from setting foot on campus – as a student or otherwise. This is the harshest sanction that a university can impose on a student.

There has been a significant amount of misinformation circulating about Stanford’s role. In this case, Stanford University, its students, its police and its staff members did everything they could. Stanford University takes the issue of sexual assault extremely seriously and has been a national leader in taking concrete steps to implement prevention programs, to train students on the importance of bystander intervention, to provide support to students who may experience sexual assault and to assure that cases are handled fairly and justly.

This was a horrible incident, and we understand the anger and deep emotion it has generated. There is still much work to be done, not just here, but everywhere, to create a culture that does not tolerate sexual violence in any form and a judicial system that deals appropriately with sexual assault cases.

Note to media: Stanford University and the Stanford Department of Public Safety have received many requests for Brock Turner’s mugshot. Stanford does not have the authority to release mugshots. Requests should be made to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

Stanford is no doubt taking measures to highlight its cooperative role in the Turner case right as Baylor University has seen three high-level employees go down—its football coach (fired), its president (resigned after being demoted to chancellor) and its athletic director (resigned after being put on probation)—after a report revealed there had been a “fundamental failure” in the school’s process for handling rape accusations against its students, especially when those students were athletes.

Turner was on the Stanford swim team before he sexually assaulted an unconscious 23-year-old old last winter, got caught by a pair of passing cyclists, ran and was eventually apprehended by police. His status as a white male athlete at a prestigious university has been cited by many as a reason for the leniency of his sentence; Turner will serve six months in a country jail before going on probation, despite the fact that the three felony charges carried a maximum sentence of 14 years.

[quote position="full" is_quote="true"]Hopefully this will wake people up. I want the judge to know that he ignited a tiny fire. If anything, this is a reason for all of us to speak even louder.[/quote]

The judge who issued the sentence, Aaron Persky, said he took into consideration Turner’s age and lack of criminal history into account before deciding “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.” Persky questionably added that, “There is less moral culpability attached to the defendant who is … intoxicated.”

The victim called the punishment “gentle” and her lawyer said it “did not fit the crime.” The judge’s rather shocking empathy for the convicted sex offender has even spurred a petition calling for Persky to be removed from the bench of the Santa Clara County superior court. The recall campaign is being headed up by Stanford Law Professor Michele Landis Dauber, a friend of the victim’s family, who told The Guardian today, “The judge bent over backwards in order to make an exception … and the message to women and students is ‘you’re on your own,’ and the message to potential perpetrators is, ‘I’ve got your back.’”

So as the University itself washes its hands of Turner, one of its professors, the surrounding community and a large chunk of the internet appear to be gearing up for a long fight against the systemic elements that either promote or passively allow rape culture to persist across the country. As the victim told BuzzFeed when she gave them her statement of impact to publish, “Hopefully this will wake people up. I want the judge to know that he ignited a tiny fire. If anything, this is a reason for all of us to speak even louder.”


Four black women, Engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughn, worked as "human computers" at NASA during the Space Race, making space travel possible through their complex calculations. Jackson, Johnson, and Vaughn all played a vital role in helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.

They worked behind the scenes, but now they're getting the credit they deserve as their accomplishments are brought to the forefront. Their amazing stories were detailed in the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later turned into a movie. (Darden was not featured in the movie, but was in the book). Johnson has a building at NASA named after her, and a street in front of NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters was renamed "Hidden Figures Way."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News
Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

They found that kids who had more than one hour of screen time a day without parental supervision had lower levels of development in their brain's white matter, which is important when it comes to developing cognitive skills, language, and literacy.

Keep Reading Show less
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
via Anadirc / Flickr

We spend roughly one-third of our life asleep, another third at work and the final third trying our best to have a little fun.

But is that the correct balance? Should we spend as much time at the office as we do with our friends and family? One of the greatest regrets people have on their deathbeds is that they spent too much of their time instead of enjoying quality time with friends and family.

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom have made a significant pledge to reevaluate the work-life balance in their country.

Keep Reading Show less