Stanford Case Inspires Bill That Would Make Prison Time Mandatory for Sexually Assaulting an Unconscious Person

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Stanford students protesting Turner's sentence at their graduation
Stanford students protesting Turner's sentence at their graduationPhoto: GABRIELLE LURIE

In March, Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was convicted of three counts of sexual assault after he was found attacking an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. In June, he was sentenced to six months in county jail, of which he will serve only three.


Now, the Santa Clara district attorney’s office is taking action to prevent someone convicted of sexual assault from ever receiving a similarly lenient sentence. On Wednesday, District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced a new bill that’s co-sponsored by various Northern California legislators. Bill AB2888 would make the mandatory minimum punishment for sexually assaulting an unconscious person the same as if they were to sexually assault a conscious person: three years in prison.

Rosen read from the Stanford victim’s powerful victim-impact statement during his announcement, then added, “We’ve read her letter. Now let’s give her back something beyond worldwide sympathy and anger. Let’s give her a legacy that will send the next Brock Turner to prison.”