Brendan Weber

Former Stanford Swimmer Brock Turner's Early Release Sparks Friday Protest

After a three-month stay behind bars, ex-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner is scheduled to be released from custody on Friday. The early release has prompted demonstrators to schedule a rally in protest of what they say has been a far too lenient punishment.

Turner was sentenced to six months in jail, and is getting released in half the time for good behavior, a standard reduction for all inmates. As a condition of his release, Turner will be required to complete a sex offender management program and participate in polygraph tests, according to his probation conditions.

Michele Dauber, a Stanford University law professor and sociologist and a vocal critic of how the case turned out, will again call for the removal of Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky during the rally, which is scheduled to take place in front of the San Jose Hall of Justice at 10 a.m. on Friday.

Persky still remains on the bench, but last week, voluntarily recused himself from overseeing criminal trials. 

Turner was convicted in March of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015, and could have faced a possible maximum of 14 years in prison.

Prosecutors sought a six-year sentence, but Persky followed a recommendation by the county probation department to sentence him to six months in prison.

The 23-year-old victim read an impassioned statement at the sentencing hearing. She described the assault in graphic detail and said her "independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition."

According to court records, Turner blamed his actions on binge drinking and a party culture on campus.

Hundreds of thousands rallied to the victim's cause in online petitions decrying Persky's sentence, and her statement was even read on the floor in Capitol Hill, so it could be entered into the congressional record.

Dauber said she worries that Persky's ruling sent a message to young women that the criminal justice system does not sufficiently police sexual assaults.

"That message is a really dangerous one," she said. "It sends a message to women that the justice system is biased."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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