Attorney slams father's defence of sex offender son

Police mug shot of convicted sex offender Brock Allen Turner (Santa Clara County Sheriff)
Police mug shot of convicted sex offender Brock Allen Turner (Santa Clara County Sheriff)

A Californian district attorney has slammed the father of a convicted sex offender for referring to the brutal attack as "20 minutes of action".

Brock Allen Turner, a 20-year-old former Stanford University student, committed the attack in January 2015 while his victim was unconscious and in a public place. He only stopped when two other students came to the young woman's aid.

Although he faced a maximum of 14 years in state prison, Turner was sentenced to six months in a county jail and probation, with the judge stating he was fearful of a longer sentence having a "severe impact" on the champion swimmer.

The now 23-year-old victim of his sexual assault read a powerful, more than 7000 word statement to Turner on the day of his sentencing, which has since been published online.

Turner's father also made a statement to the court, defending his son, describing him as the victim and describing the consequences of his crime as "a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life".

Confirming to media the letter was submitted to court before Turner's sentencing, Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen strongly criticised it, along with Turner and his father for refusing to own up to the crime.

"To this day, the defendant denies what he did," Mr Rosen said.

"The predatory offender has failed to take responsibility, failed to show remorse and failed to tell the truth. The sentence does not factor in the true seriousness of this sexual assault, or the victim's ongoing trauma."

Judge Aaron Persky has come under fire for the sentence, described by the victim as a "mockery" and an "insult to all women". An online petition calling for his removal currently has over 29,000 supporters.

Mr Rosen says he was disappointed Judge Persky did not sentence Turner to more time.

However, the prosecutor said he saw a silver lining in that the case had led to "a frank discussion about how to prevent campus sexual assault and what those campuses should do when it happens".

"Honestly, what has helped to create such national attention in this case is the eloquence of the victim," says Mr Rosen.

"Never in my 20 years as a prosecutor have I seen a more eloquent victim statement."

A law professor at the Stanford University, Michele Landis Dauber, has urged the institution to make serious changes in their policies towards sexual assault.

Only four of the 175 reported sexual assaults at Stanford between 1997 and 2009 were properly investigated -- statistics Ms Dauber calls "appalling".