The “War on Women” Hits the Courtroom

After two high profile cases where a convicted rapist was given a shockingly lenient sentence, it appears that the “War on Women” is being carried out by judges. This isn’t sitting well with groups that have been fighting for decades for equality and the protection of a women’s right.

On March 30, 2016, Brock Allen Turner, a Stanford University athlete, was convicted of three felonies, including “Assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman” and “Sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.” After hearing impassioned pleas from both the victim and the defendant, Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to six months incarceration in the Santa Clara County jail and probation. As the country erupted over this appallingly light sentence, Turner’s father offended a normal person’s senses by complaining that any jail time would ruin his son’s future.

Fast-forward to this past week and here sits Austin James Wilkerson, a now convicted rapist, reading his 1,984 word plea for leniency to the judge, citing the fact a long prison term would ruin his life. One could never be sure why, but Judge Patrick Butler settled on nothing more than two years of jail time and eligibility for a work program. He did this in lieu of prison time, which could have ranged from four years up to life.

In both cases, there was a startling disregard for the plight and rights of the victim. Neither the judges nor the convicted felons seemed at all concerned about the long-term ramifications for a young woman who has been raped. In both cases, the brave victims stood before the court and detailed their personal humiliation and pain. Apparently, it was to no avail.

One can only hope this does not become an on-going trend. All forms of sexual assault, especially on an incapacitated victim, should be considered serious crimes, deserving of serious repercussions. Defendants should not be given any more consideration than they gave their victims.