Handling of Sanford student's sexual assault case causes outrage - WNEM TV 5

Handling of Sanford student's sexual assault case causes outrage

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A judge's decision to sentence a man to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman has caused widespread outrage.

Brock Turner, 20, was a Sanford University swimmer when he was accused of the assault last January.

The controversial sentencing was followed by the release of two opposing letters to the judge. One was from Turner's father and the other was from the victim. Both of the letters have been shared on social media.

"There's really been a huge shift publicly about changing the focus and now allowing that behavior to be supported and condoned no matter who you are," said Valerie Hoffman, with Underground Railroad. "It's an outrage that he would be treated so lightly when his victim was not afforded the same."

Hoffman is the executive director of the Underground Railroad in Saginaw County. She said Turner's sentence doesn't come close to comparing to what he put his victim through.

"For the rest of her life she has to live with that trauma and there's good documented evidence that the type of brain damage that is caused as a result of experiencing a traumatic result such as rape," Hoffman said.

In Mid-Michigan there are several resources available to victims of sexual assault to get help for their emotional needs and more.

"We're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week anytime. It doesn't have to be recent. Maybe you're finally ready to talk about what has happened to you in the past," Hoffman said.

She said something everyone can do is stop blaming the victims of sexual assault and instead speak out against the inexcusable crime.

"Why did he think he could get away with this? What's wrong with him? Those are the things we really need to focus on," Hoffman said.

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