Former Stanford University student Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman and sentenced to six months in jail, registered as a sex offender in his home state of Ohio Tuesday morning, state records show.
Turner was released from the Santa Clara County Jail on Friday after serving half of his sentence — a penalty criticized for its leniency. Early releases are commonly given because of good behavior and because of California’s prison realignment.
Turner, 21, was convicted in March of three felony counts: assault with the intent to commit rape of an unconscious person, sexual penetration of an unconscious person and sexual penetration of an intoxicated person. He attacked an unconscious woman behind a garbage bin on the Palo Alto university’s campus in January 2015.
At his sentencing, Turner faced up to 14 years in prison. Prosecutors sought a six-year prison term.
Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky ultimately opted for the lighter jail term of six months and also sentenced the Ohio native to three years of probation. At the time, he said a lengthier penalty would have a “severe impact” on Turner.
Persky is facing a recall campaign over his handling of Turner’s case.
Criticism of the sentence escalated after the unidentified victim’s 12-page, single-spaced letter that she read in court went viral online.
She harshly criticized Persky for giving Turner “a soft time-out, a mockery of the [seriousness] of the assaults.”
“The seriousness of rape has to be communicated clearly, we should not create a culture that suggests we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error,” she wrote. “The consequences of sexual assault needs to be severe enough that people feel enough fear to exercise good judgment even if they are drunk, severe enough to be preventative.”
Public outrage over the case has extended to the state Capitol, where lawmakers have passed legislation to expand the definition of rape and to increase punishment for sex offenders.
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