Over the course of the summer, we have discussed the controversial case of the former Stanford University swimmer, Brock Turner. The case made national headlines because of the light sentence Turner received from Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky. After being found guilty of numerous sexual assault charges, Persky decided that six (6) months in prison and three (3) years of probation would be an adequate sentence. Naturally, the sentence caused millions of Americans to become enraged, calling for the Persky’s resignation and stricter sentencing laws.
As we pointed out in a previous post, California law separates rape from sexual assault. Those found guilty of rape face much stiffer punishments than those convicted of sexual assault. But that is about to change in the near future.
Sexual assault in California made the news again on Monday, after legislation was passed that would place mandatory prison sentences for those convicted of certain sexual assaults, The Los Angeles Times reports. AB 2888, passed in the California Assembly with unanimous support, next stop for the legislation is Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.
“If we let a rapist off with probation and little jail time, we re-victimize the victim, we dissuade other victims from coming forward and we send a message that sexual assault of an incapacitated victim is just no big deal,” said Assemblyman Bill Dodd (D-Napa), a coauthor of the measure.
The bill would require that sexual assailants serve time in prison when their victims are unconscious or incapable of giving consent while under the influence alcohol, according to the article. While the bill would appear to be a step in the right direction, there are some people who are concerned about mandatory minimum sentences, historically disproportionately affecting minorities.
Ronald G. Brower is a criminal defense attorney in Southern California. Based out of Orange County, Attorney Brower has represented individuals charged with crimes in state and federal court.
Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower online or by telephone at 714-997-4400.