Then, I felt pine needles scratching the back of my neck and started pulling them out my hair. I shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in.
I thought maybe, the pine needles had fallen from a tree onto my head. I was asked to sign papers that said “Rape Victim” and I thought something has really happened.
Your honor, If it is all right, for the majority of this statement I would like to address the defendant directly.
You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.
And that’s quite accurate – he was originally charged with rape of an intoxicated person and rape of an unconscious person.
California is among a handful of states which continue to criminalise ‘object penetration’ to a lesser degree than penile penetration.
Brock Turner’s conviction, and the bravely stark testimony of his victim, have helped to bring these questions about how sexual crimes are defined – and how that impacts on attitudes towards sentencing – out into the open.
The tragedy is that no level of public debate or outrage can undo the despicable harm he caused to an unconscious woman.
As such, the case continued on the basis of ‘lesser’ charges: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person; penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object; and penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.
In essence, Californian state law defines rape as penetration by the penis.
My clothes were confiscated and I stood naked while the nurses held a ruler to various abrasions on my body and photographed them.