Woman reports rape at Stanford on day Gov. Brown signed law inspired by Brock Turner case

A woman was reported to have been raped in a dormitory at Stanford University on Friday, the same day Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law spurred by the Brock Turner case that would toughen sentences for sex assault convictions.

The woman told campus security that a man whom she did not know raped her early Friday in a dorm on the east side of the university, according to an alert issued by Stanford’s Department of Public Safety. Campus police said there was no information about the man or specific details about the attack.

“Stanford University does not tolerate sexual assault, sexual misconduct or sexual harassment,” police said in the alert.


University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said Stanford officials have not received any additional information since the assault was reported Friday.

The on-campus assault was reported hours before Gov. Brown signed Assembly Bill 2888 into law, mandating prison sentences for certain sexual offenses such as rape, forced oral copulation and sodomy. The bill will prevent judges from handing light sentences to offenders convicted of sexually assaulting unconscious or severely intoxicated victims.

The law was inspired by the case of Turner, a former Stanford swimmer who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on campus after a fraternity party.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to six months in jail for the assault because he said a harsher penalty would have a “severe impact” on the former athlete. Turner served half of his sentence due to California’s felony sentencing realignment.

The sentence sparked outrage, with critics saying it was too lenient and set an ominous precedent for sexual assaults on U.S. college campuses.

The victim’s 12-page, single-spaced letter, which she read in court and has been read by senators on the floor of Congress, struck a chord with millions frustrated by the stigma tied to sexual assault cases, said Santa Clara County Dist. Atty. Jeff Rosen. He said people were angry “at those who continue to misconstrue these assaults as sex gone a little too far.”

“The national awakening about campus sexual assaults started by Emily Doe’s powerful letter continues to grow, changing our minds and our laws,” he said in a statement Friday. “While prisons are not appropriate for every person convicted of a crime, rapists belong in prison.”

Persky, who faced a recall effort due to fallout from the sentence, was later moved to a civil court in San Jose to reduce courtroom distraction following the Turner case.

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