THE LETTER

I realize this is a super long post, but it is very important to read the words of the survivor of the Stanford rape in their entirety.

 

 

From BuzzFeed News:

One night in January 2015, two Stanford University graduate students biking across campus spotted a freshman thrusting his body on top of an unconscious, half-naked woman behind a dumpster. This March, a California jury found the former student, 20-year-old Brock Allen Turner, guilty of three counts of sexual assault. Turner faced a maximum of 14 years in state prison. On Thursday, he was sentenced to six months in county jail and probation. The judge said he feared a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner, a champion swimmer who once aspired to compete in the Olympics — a point repeatedly brought up during the trial.
On Thursday, Turner’s victim addressed him directly, detailing the severe impact his actions had on her — from the night she learned she had been assaulted by a stranger while unconscious, to the grueling trial during which Turner’s attorneys argued that she had eagerly consented.
The woman, now 23, told BuzzFeed News she was disappointed with the “gentle” sentence and angry that Turner still denied sexually assaulting her.
“Even if the sentence is light, hopefully this will wake people up,” she said. “I want the judge to know that he ignited a tiny fire. If anything, this is a reason for all of us to speak even louder.”

“Your Honor, if it is all right, for the majority of this statement I would like to address the defendant directly.
You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.
On January 17th, 2015, it was a quiet Saturday night at home. My dad made some dinner and I sat at the table with my younger sister who was visiting for the weekend. I was working full time and it was approaching my bed time. I planned to stay at home by myself, watch some TV and read, while she went to a party with her friends. Then, I decided it was my only night with her, I had nothing better to do, so why not, there’s a dumb party ten minutes from my house, I would go, dance like a fool, and embarrass my younger sister. On the way there, I joked that undergrad guys would have braces. My sister teased me for wearing a beige cardigan to a frat party like a librarian. I called myself “big mama”, because I knew I’d be the oldest one there. I made silly faces, let my guard down, and drank liquor too fast not factoring in that my tolerance had significantly lowered since college.
The next thing I remember I was in a gurney in a hallway. I had dried blood and bandages on the backs of my hands and elbow. I thought maybe I had fallen and was in an admin office on campus. I was very calm and wondering where my sister was. A deputy explained I had been assaulted. I still remained calm, assured he was speaking to the wrong person. I knew no one at this party. When I was finally allowed to use the restroom, I pulled down the hospital pants they had given me, went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing. I still remember the feeling of my hands touching my skin and grabbing nothing. I looked down and there was nothing. The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my vagina and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced. I still don’t have words for that feeling. In order to keep breathing, I thought maybe the policemen used scissors to cut them off for evidence.
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.”
Then, I felt pine needles scratching the back of my neck and started pulling them out my hair. I thought maybe, the pine needles had fallen from a tree onto my head. My brain was talking my gut into not collapsing. Because my gut was saying, help me, help me.
I shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in. I was asked to sign papers that said “Rape Victim” and I thought something has really happened. My clothes were confiscated and I stood naked while the nurses held a ruler to various abrasions on my body and photographed them. The three of us worked to comb the pine needles out of my hair, six hands to fill one paper bag. To calm me down, they said it’s just the flora and fauna, flora and fauna. I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my vagina smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions.
After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.
On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger, and that I should get retested for HIV because results don’t always show up immediately. But for now, I should go home and get back to my normal life. Imagine stepping back into the world with only that information. They gave me huge hugs and I walked out of the hospital into the parking lot wearing the new sweatshirt and sweatpants they provided me, as they had only allowed me to keep my necklace and shoes.
My sister picked me up, face wet from tears and contorted in anguish. Instinctively and immediately, I wanted to take away her pain. I smiled at her, I told her to look at me, I’m right here, I’m okay, everything’s okay, I’m right here. My hair is washed and clean, they gave me the strangest shampoo, calm down, and look at me. Look at these funny new sweatpants and sweatshirt, I look like a P.E. teacher, let’s go home, let’s eat something. She did not know that beneath my sweatsuit, I had scratches and bandages on my skin, my vagina was sore and had become a strange, dark color from all the prodding, my underwear was missing, and I felt too empty to continue to speak. That I was also afraid, that I was also devastated. That day we drove home and for hours in silence my younger sister held me.
My boyfriend did not know what happened, but called that day and said, “I was really worried about you last night, you scared me, did you make it home okay?” I was horrified. That’s when I learned I had called him that night in my blackout, left an incomprehensible voicemail, that we had also spoken on the phone, but I was slurring so heavily he was scared for me, that he repeatedly told me to go find [my sister]. Again, he asked me, “What happened last night? Did you make it home okay?” I said yes, and hung up to cry.
I was not ready to tell my boyfriend or parents that actually, I may have been raped behind a dumpster, but I don’t know by who or when or how. If I told them, I would see the fear on their faces, and mine would multiply by tenfold, so instead I pretended the whole thing wasn’t real.
I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone. After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream. I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most. For over a week after the incident, I didn’t get any calls or updates about that night or what happened to me. The only symbol that proved that it hadn’t just been a bad dream, was the sweatshirt from the hospital in my drawer.
One day, I was at work, scrolling through the news on my phone, and came across an article. In it, I read and learned for the first time about how I was found unconscious, with my hair disheveled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, that I was butt naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart, and had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognize. This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work. I learned what happened to me the same time everyone else in the world learned what happened to me. That’s when the pine needles in my hair made sense, they didn’t fall from a tree. He had taken off my underwear, his fingers had been inside of me. I don’t even know this person. I still don’t know this person. When I read about me like this, I said, this can’t be me, this can’t be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information. I could not imagine my family having to read about this online. I kept reading. In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings.
“And then, at the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own sexual assault, the article listed his swimming times.”
It’s like if you were to read an article where a car was hit, and found dented, in a ditch. But maybe the car enjoyed being hit. Maybe the other car didn’t mean to hit it, just bump it up a little bit. Cars get in accidents all the time, people aren’t always paying attention, can we really say who’s at fault.
And then, at the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own sexual assault, the article listed his swimming times. She was found breathing, unresponsive with her underwear six inches away from her bare stomach curled in fetal position. By the way, he’s really good at swimming. Throw in my mile time if that’s what we’re doing. I’m good at cooking, put that in there, I think the end is where you list your extracurriculars to cancel out all the sickening things that’ve happened.
The night the news came out I sat my parents down and told them that I had been assaulted, to not look at the news because it’s upsetting, just know that I’m okay, I’m right here, and I’m okay. But halfway through telling them, my mom had to hold me because I could no longer stand up.
The night after it happened, he said he didn’t know my name, said he wouldn’t be able to identify my face in a lineup, didn’t mention any dialogue between us, no words, only dancing and kissing. Dancing is a cute term; was it snapping fingers and twirling dancing, or just bodies grinding up against each other in a crowded room? I wonder if kissing was just faces sloppily pressed up against each other? When the detective asked if he had planned on taking me back to his dorm, he said no. When the detective asked how we ended up behind the dumpster, he said he didn’t know. He admitted to kissing other girls at that party, one of whom was my own sister who pushed him away. He admitted to wanting to hook up with someone. I was the wounded antelope of the herd, completely alone and vulnerable, physically unable to fend for myself, and he chose me. Sometimes I think, if I hadn’t gone, then this never would’ve happened. But then I realized, it would have happened, just to somebody else. You were about to enter four years of access to drunk girls and parties, and if this is the foot you started off on, then it is right you did not continue. The night after it happened, he said he thought I liked it because I rubbed his back. A back rub.
Never mentioned me voicing consent, never mentioned us even speaking, a back rub. One more time, in public news, I learned that my ass and vagina were completely exposed outside, my breasts had been groped, fingers had been jabbed inside me along with pine needles and debris, my bare skin and head had been rubbing against the ground behind a dumpster, while an erect freshman was humping my half naked, unconscious body. But I don’t remember, so how do I prove I didn’t like it.
I thought there’s no way this is going to trial; there were witnesses, there was dirt in my body, he ran but was caught. He’s going to settle, formally apologize, and we will both move on. Instead, I was told he hired a powerful attorney, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this sexual assault was in fact a misunderstanding. That he was going to go to any length to convince the world he had simply been confused.
I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation.
“I was pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who had me half naked before even bothering to ask for my name. “
When I was told to be prepared in case we didn’t win, I said, I can’t prepare for that. He was guilty the minute I woke up. No one can talk me out of the hurt he caused me. Worst of all, I was warned, because he now knows you don’t remember, he is going to get to write the script. He can say whatever he wants and no one can contest it. I had no power, I had no voice, I was defenseless. My memory loss would be used against me. My testimony was weak, was incomplete, and I was made to believe that perhaps, I am not enough to win this. His attorney constantly reminded the jury, the only one we can believe is Brock, because she doesn’t remember. That helplessness was traumatizing.
Instead of taking time to heal, I was taking time to recall the night in excruciating detail, in order to prepare for the attorney’s questions that would be invasive, aggressive, and designed to steer me off course, to contradict myself, my sister, phrased in ways to manipulate my answers. Instead of his attorney saying, Did you notice any abrasions? He said, You didn’t notice any abrasions, right? This was a game of strategy, as if I could be tricked out of my own worth. The sexual assault had been so clear, but instead, here I was at the trial, answering questions like:
How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What’ d you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside? Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring. Did you drink in college? You said you were a party animal? How many times did you black out? Did you party at frats? Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating? What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What color was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, well, we’ll let Brock fill it in.
I was pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who had me half naked before even bothering to ask for my name. After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, he’s like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so he’s having a really hard time right now.
And then it came time for him to testify and I learned what it meant to be revictimized. I want to remind you, the night after it happened he said he never planned to take me back to his dorm. He said he didn’t know why we were behind a dumpster. He got up to leave because he wasn’t feeling well when he was suddenly chased and attacked. Then he learned I could not remember.
So one year later, as predicted, a new dialogue emerged. Brock had a strange new story, almost sounded like a poorly written young adult novel with kissing and dancing and hand holding and lovingly tumbling onto the ground, and most importantly in this new story, there was suddenly consent. One year after the incident, he remembered, oh yeah, by the way she actually said yes, to everything, so.
He said he had asked if I wanted to dance. Apparently I said yes. He’d asked if I wanted to go to his dorm, I said yes. Then he asked if he could finger me and I said yes. Most guys don’t ask, can I finger you? Usually there’s a natural progression of things, unfolding consensually, not a Q and A. But apparently I granted full permission. He’s in the clear. Even in his story, I only said a total of three words, yes yes yes, before he had me half naked on the ground. Future reference, if you are confused about whether a girl can consent, see if she can speak an entire sentence. You couldn’t even do that. Just one coherent string of words. Where was the confusion? This is common sense, human decency.
According to him, the only reason we were on the ground was because I fell down. Note; if a girl falls down help her get back up. If she is too drunk to even walk and falls down, do not mount her, hump her, take off her underwear, and insert your hand inside her vagina. If a girl falls down help her up. If she is wearing a cardigan over her dress don’t take it off so that you can touch her breasts. Maybe she is cold, maybe that’s why she wore the cardigan.
Next in the story, two Swedes on bicycles approached you and you ran. When they tackled you why didn’t say, “Stop! Everything’s okay, go ask her, she’s right over there, she’ll tell you.” I mean you had just asked for my consent, right? I was awake, right? When the policeman arrived and interviewed the evil Swede who tackled you, he was crying so hard he couldn’t speak because of what he’d seen.
Your attorney has repeatedly pointed out, well we don’t know exactly when she became unconscious. And you’re right, maybe I was still fluttering my eyes and wasn’t completely limp yet. That was never the point. I was too drunk to speak English, too drunk to consent way before I was on the ground. I should have never been touched in the first place. Brock stated, “At no time did I see that she was not responding. If at any time I thought she was not responding, I would have stopped immediately.” Here’s the thing; if your plan was to stop only when I became unresponsive, then you still do not understand. You didn’t even stop when I was unconscious anyway! Someone else stopped you. Two guys on bikes noticed I wasn’t moving in the dark and had to tackle you. How did you not notice while on top of me?
You said, you would have stopped and gotten help. You say that, but I want you to explain how you would’ve helped me, step by step, walk me through this. I want to know, if those evil Swedes had not found me, how the night would have played out. I am asking you; Would you have pulled my underwear back on over my boots? Untangled the necklace wrapped around my neck? Closed my legs, covered me? Pick the pine needles from my hair? Asked if the abrasions on my neck and bottom hurt? Would you then go find a friend and say, Will you help me get her somewhere warm and soft? I don’t sleep when I think about the way it could have gone if the two guys had never come. What would have happened to me? That’s what you’ll never have a good answer for, that’s what you can’t explain even after a year.
On top of all this, he claimed that I orgasmed after one minute of digital penetration. The nurse said there had been abrasions, lacerations, and dirt in my genitalia. Was that before or after I came?
To sit under oath and inform all of us, that yes I wanted it, yes I permitted it, and that you are the true victim attacked by Swedes for reasons unknown to you is appalling, is demented, is selfish, is damaging. It is enough to be suffering. It is another thing to have someone ruthlessly working to diminish the gravity of validity of this suffering.
My family had to see pictures of my head strapped to a gurney full of pine needles, of my body in the dirt with my eyes closed, hair messed up, limbs bent, and dress hiked up. And even after that, my family had to listen to your attorney say the pictures were after the fact, we can dismiss them. To say, yes her nurse confirmed there was redness and abrasions inside her, significant trauma to her genitalia, but that’s what happens when you finger someone, and he’s already admitted to that. To listen to your attorney attempt to paint a picture of me, the face of girls gone wild, as if somehow that would make it so that I had this coming for me. To listen to him say I sounded drunk on the phone because I’m silly and that’s my goofy way of speaking. To point out that in the voicemail, I said I would reward my boyfriend and we all know what I was thinking. I assure you my rewards program is non transferable, especially to any nameless man that approaches me.
“This is not a story of another drunk college hook­up with poor decision making. Assault is not an accident.”
He has done irreversible damage to me and my family during the trial and we have sat silently, listening to him shape the evening. But in the end, his unsupported statements and his attorney’s twisted logic fooled no one. The truth won, the truth spoke for itself.
You are guilty. Twelve jurors convicted you guilty of three felony counts beyond reasonable doubt, that’s twelve votes per count, thirty ­six yeses confirming guilt, that’s one hundred percent, unanimous guilt. And I thought finally it is over, finally he will own up to what he did, truly apologize, we will both move on and get better. Then I read your statement.
If you are hoping that one of my organs will implode from anger and I will die, I’m almost there. You are very close. This is not a story of another drunk college hook­up with poor decision making. Assault is not an accident. Somehow, you still don’t get it. Somehow, you still sound confused. I will now read portions of the defendant’s statement and respond to them.
You said, Being drunk I just couldn’t make the best decisions and neither could she.
Alcohol is not an excuse. Is it a factor? Yes. But alcohol was not the one who stripped me, fingered me, had my head dragging against the ground, with me almost fully naked. Having too much to drink was an amateur mistake that I admit to, but it is not criminal. Everyone in this room has had a night where they have regretted drinking too much, or knows someone close to them who has had a night where they have regretted drinking too much. Regretting drinking is not the same as regretting sexual assault. We were both drunk, the difference is I did not take off your pants and underwear, touch you inappropriately, and run away. That’s the difference.
You said, If I wanted to get to know her, I should have asked for her number, rather than asking her to go back to my room.
I’m not mad because you didn’t ask for my number. Even if you did know me, I would not want to be in this situation. My own boyfriend knows me, but if he asked to finger me behind a dumpster, I would slap him. No girl wants to be in this situation. Nobody. I don’t care if you know their phone number or not.
You said, I stupidly thought it was okay for me to do what everyone around me was doing, which was drinking. I was wrong.
Again, you were not wrong for drinking. Everyone around you was not sexually assaulting me. You were wrong for doing what nobody else was doing, which was pushing your erect dick in your pants against my naked, defenseless body concealed in a dark area, where partygoers could no longer see or protect me, and my own sister could not find me. Sipping fireball is not your crime. Peeling off and discarding my underwear like a candy wrapper to insert your finger into my body, is where you went wrong. Why am I still explaining this.
You said, During the trial I didn’t want to victimize her at all. That was just my attorney and his way of approaching the case.
Your attorney is not your scapegoat, he represents you. Did your attorney say some incredulously infuriating, degrading things? Absolutely. He said you had an erection, because it was cold.
You said, you are in the process of establishing a program for high school and college students in which you speak about your experience to “speak out against the college campus drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that.”
Campus drinking culture. That’s what we’re speaking out against? You think that’s what I’ve spent the past year fighting for? Not awareness about campus sexual assault, or rape, or learning to recognize consent. Campus drinking culture. Down with Jack Daniels. Down with Skyy Vodka. If you want talk to people about drinking go to an AA meeting. You realize, having a drinking problem is different than drinking and then forcefully trying to have sex with someone? Show men how to respect women, not how to drink less.
Drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that. Goes along with that, like a side effect, like fries on the side of your order. Where does promiscuity even come into play? I don’t see headlines that read, Brock Turner, Guilty of drinking too much and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that. Campus Sexual Assault. There’s your first powerpoint slide. Rest assured, if you fail to fix the topic of your talk, I will follow you to every school you go to and give a follow up presentation.
Lastly you said, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin a life.
A life, one life, yours, you forgot about mine. Let me rephrase for you, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin two lives. You and me. You are the cause, I am the effect. You have dragged me through this hell with you, dipped me back into that night again and again. You knocked down both our towers, I collapsed at the same time you did. If you think I was spared, came out unscathed, that today I ride off into sunset, while you suffer the greatest blow, you are mistaken. Nobody wins. We have all been devastated, we have all been trying to find some meaning in all of this suffering. Your damage was concrete; stripped of titles, degrees, enrollment. My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.
See one thing we have in common is that we were both unable to get up in the morning. I am no stranger to suffering. You made me a victim. In newspapers my name was “unconscious intoxicated woman”, ten syllables, and nothing more than that. For a while, I believed that that was all I was. I had to force myself to relearn my real name, my identity. To relearn that this is not all that I am. That I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party found behind a dumpster, while you are the All­ American swimmer at a top university, innocent until proven guilty, with so much at stake. I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt, my life was put on hold for over a year, waiting to figure out if I was worth something.
My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition. I became closed off, angry, self deprecating, tired, irritable, empty. The isolation at times was unbearable. You cannot give me back the life I had before that night either. While you worry about your shattered reputation, I refrigerated spoons every night so when I woke up, and my eyes were puffy from crying, I would hold the spoons to my eyes to lessen the swelling so that I could see. I showed up an hour late to work every morning, excused myself to cry in the stairwells, I can tell you all the best places in that building to cry where no one can hear you. The pain became so bad that I had to explain the private details to my boss to let her know why I was leaving. I needed time because continuing day to day was not possible. I used my savings to go as far away as I could possibly be. I did not return to work full time as I knew I’d have to take weeks off in the future for the hearing and trial, that were constantly being rescheduled. My life was put on hold for over a year, my structure had collapsed.
I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up, I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep. For three months, I went to bed at six o’clock in the morning.
I used to pride myself on my independence, now I am afraid to go on walks in the evening, to attend social events with drinking among friends where I should be comfortable being. I have become a little barnacle always needing to be at someone’s side, to have my boyfriend standing next to me, sleeping beside me, protecting me. It is embarrassing how feeble I feel, how timidly I move through life, always guarded, ready to defend myself, ready to be angry.
You have no idea how hard I have worked to rebuild parts of me that are still weak. It took me eight months to even talk about what happened. I could no longer connect with friends, with everyone around me. I would scream at my boyfriend, my own family whenever they brought this up. You never let me forget what happened to me. At the of end of the hearing, the trial, I was too tired to speak. I would leave drained, silent. I would go home turn off my phone and for days I would not speak. You bought me a ticket to a planet where I lived by myself. Every time a new article come out, I lived with the paranoia that my entire hometown would find out and know me as the girl who got assaulted. I didn’t want anyone’s pity and am still learning to accept victim as part of my identity. You made my own hometown an uncomfortable place to be.
You cannot give me back my sleepless nights. The way I have broken down sobbing uncontrollably if I’m watching a movie and a woman is harmed, to say it lightly, this experience has expanded my empathy for other victims. I have lost weight from stress, when people would comment I told them I’ve been running a lot lately. There are times I did not want to be touched. I have to relearn that I am not fragile, I am capable, I am wholesome, not just livid and weak.
When I see my younger sister hurting, when she is unable to keep up in school, when she is deprived of joy, when she is not sleeping, when she is crying so hard on the phone she is barely breathing, telling me over and over again she is sorry for leaving me alone that night, sorry sorry sorry, when she feels more guilt than you, then I do not forgive you. That night I had called her to try and find her, but you found me first. Your attorney’s closing statement began, “[Her sister] said she was fine and who knows her better than her sister.” You tried to use my own sister against me? Your points of attack were so weak, so low, it was almost embarrassing. You do not touch her.
You should have never done this to me. Secondly, you should have never made me fight so long to tell you, you should have never done this to me. But here we are. The damage is done, no one can undo it. And now we both have a choice. We can let this destroy us, I can remain angry and hurt and you can be in denial, or we can face it head on, I accept the pain, you accept the punishment, and we move on.
Your life is not over, you have decades of years ahead to rewrite your story. The world is huge, it is so much bigger than Palo Alto and Stanford, and you will make a space for yourself in it where you can be useful and happy. But right now, you do not get to shrug your shoulders and be confused anymore. You do not get to pretend that there were no red flags. You have been convicted of violating me, intentionally, forcibly, sexually, with malicious intent, and all you can admit to is consuming alcohol. Do not talk about the sad way your life was upturned because alcohol made you do bad things. Figure out how to take responsibility for your own conduct.
Now to address the sentencing. When I read the probation officer’s report, I was in disbelief, consumed by anger which eventually quieted down to profound sadness. My statements have been slimmed down to distortion and taken out of context. I fought hard during this trial and will not have the outcome minimized by a probation officer who attempted to evaluate my current state and my wishes in a fifteen minute conversation, the majority of which was spent answering questions I had about the legal system. The context is also important. Brock had yet to issue a statement, and I had not read his remarks.
My life has been on hold for over a year, a year of anger, anguish and uncertainty, until a jury of my peers rendered a judgment that validated the injustices I had endured. Had Brock admitted guilt and remorse and offered to settle early on, I would have considered a lighter sentence, respecting his honesty, grateful to be able to move our lives forward. Instead he took the risk of going to trial, added insult to injury and forced me to relive the hurt as details about my personal life and sexual assault were brutally dissected before the public. He pushed me and my family through a year of inexplicable, unnecessary suffering, and should face the consequences of challenging his crime, of putting my pain into question, of making us wait so long for justice.
I told the probation officer I do not want Brock to rot away in prison. I did not say he does not deserve to be behind bars. The probation officer’s recommendation of a year or less in county jail is a soft time­out, a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults, an insult to me and all women. It gives the message that a stranger can be inside you without proper consent and he will receive less than what has been defined as the minimum sentence. Probation should be denied. I also told the probation officer that what I truly wanted was for Brock to get it, to understand and admit to his wrongdoing.
Unfortunately, after reading the defendant’s report, I am severely disappointed and feel that he has failed to exhibit sincere remorse or responsibility for his conduct. I fully respected his right to a trial, but even after twelve jurors unanimously convicted him guilty of three felonies, all he has admitted to doing is ingesting alcohol. Someone who cannot take full accountability for his actions does not deserve a mitigating sentence. It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of “promiscuity.” By definition rape is the absence of promiscuity, rape is the absence of consent, and it perturbs me deeply that he can’t even see that distinction.
The probation officer factored in that the defendant is youthful and has no prior convictions. In my opinion, he is old enough to know what he did was wrong. When you are eighteen in this country you can go to war. When you are nineteen, you are old enough to pay the consequences for attempting to rape someone. He is young, but he is old enough to know better.
As this is a first offence I can see where leniency would beckon. On the other hand, as a society, we cannot forgive everyone’s first sexual assault or digital rape. It doesn’t make sense. The seriousness of rape has to be communicated clearly, we should not create a culture that suggests we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error. The consequences of sexual assault needs to be severe enough that people feel enough fear to exercise good judgment even if they are drunk, severe enough to be preventative.
The probation officer weighed the fact that he has surrendered a hard earned swimming scholarship. How fast Brock swims does not lessen the severity of what happened to me, and should not lessen the severity of his punishment. If a first time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be? The fact that Brock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.
The Probation Officer has stated that this case, when compared to other crimes of similar nature, may be considered less serious due to the defendant’s level of intoxication. It felt serious. That’s all I’m going to say.
What has he done to demonstrate that he deserves a break? He has only apologized for drinking and has yet to define what he did to me as sexual assault, he has revictimized me continually, relentlessly. He has been found guilty of three serious felonies and it is time for him to accept the consequences of his actions. He will not be quietly excused.
He is a lifetime sex registrant. That doesn’t expire. Just like what he did to me doesn’t expire, doesn’t just go away after a set number of years. It stays with me, it’s part of my identity, it has forever changed the way I carry myself, the way I live the rest of my life.
To conclude, I want to say thank you. To everyone from the intern who made me oatmeal when I woke up at the hospital that morning, to the deputy who waited beside me, to the nurses who calmed me, to the detective who listened to me and never judged me, to my advocates who stood unwaveringly beside me, to my therapist who taught me to find courage in vulnerability, to my boss for being kind and understanding, to my incredible parents who teach me how to turn pain into strength, to my grandma who snuck chocolate into the courtroom throughout this to give to me, my friends who remind me how to be happy, to my boyfriend who is patient and loving, to my unconquerable sister who is the other half of my heart, to Alaleh, my idol, who fought tirelessly and never doubted me. Thank you to everyone involved in the trial for their time and attention. Thank you to girls across the nation that wrote cards to my DA to give to me, so many strangers who cared for me.
Most importantly, thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet. I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story. That we are looking out for one another. To have known all of these people, to have felt their protection and love, is something I will never forget.
And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. As the author Anne Lamott once wrote, “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.”

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AFTER THE SENTENCING

As I mentioned before, I did not write in my journal about what happened after Laura, Bill and I walked out of the courtroom.  I just checked to see if I mentioned anything at a later date.  I never specifically addressed it, and all I wrote the following day, 26 June 2012 was:

“Yesterday, to me, still feels surreal.  I don’t have a strong feeling either way.  All I am certain of is he deserves to be in prison.”

When court was adjourned, cockroach boy’s sister and father, who had been seated right in front of us, practically ran out of the room.  I remember thinking, ‘good, I don’t want to see them anyway.’    We couldn’t leave right away because the D.A. needed to give me a copy of the restraining order that the court had gotten on my behalf, so we kind of hung around inside the courtroom.  When it became clear that it would take a bit longer than anticipated, we left to wait outside.  As soon as we walked through the outer door, the sister and father descended upon us.  The sister, whose name I never did get, said to me, “I just want to apologize for what my brother did to you.”  And the father piped up, “Yeah, we didn’t raise him that way.”  To say that I was in shock that they were even speaking to me would be an understatement.  I did my best to be polite without really saying much.  What did they expect I would say?  ‘Oh, it’s okay, don’t worry about it.’  Hardly.  It was not okay and I wasn’t going to say otherwise.  When the father spoke to me, I thought, ‘no way does he live in Coronado.  He had exactly 3 teeth in his mouth, and I am pretty sure there must be a city ordinance that says you must have teeth to live there.’  Seriously, no way could he look like that and live there.

I really didn’t respond to her apology.  I thought they would then walk away.  But, no, she wasn’t finished with me yet.  So then she said something like, ‘my brother is mentally ill and needs help, he doesn’t need to be in prison.’  I said, “Oh, I understand mental illness.  I have a brother who is bipolar and he doesn’t take his medication either, but he doesn’t attack women.”  I was feeling very uncomfortable and wanted her to leave me alone.  No such luck.  Then she said to me, “Did you see him?  He’s going to be attacked in prison.”  And all I could think was, ‘Oh well.  He should have thought about that before attacking me.’  What I said to her was, “If you had ever been attacked, you would understand.”  And she said, “Oh, I have been.  He attacked/raped (not quite sure which word she said here, but the meaning of what she was saying was very clear) me.  Twice!”  What I wanted to say to her, but didn’t, was, ‘You stupid bitch!  This is your fault for not reporting him to the authorities.  We wouldn’t be here right now if you had reported him.’  What could I actually say to that?  Nothing.  By this time, Bill was in between the sister and me and Laura was trying to pull her away.  I was extremely upset, but saying nothing to her.  As Laura pulled her away, she turned and said to me, “I hope you learn something from this.  And I hope you have a nice life.”  Those statements made me want to attack her.  Really?  Of course, she would have no way of knowing just how much I struggled with what should be done with him and whether he would be better served out of prison than in.  And of all the people to say ‘I hope you learn something from this’ to, I just wasn’t it.  I was learning from it the minute it happened.  Stupid bitch.

I was in absolute shock.  I could not believe what I had just heard.  I couldn’t believe that she verbally attacked me, especially since the judge had just said that there was to be no contact with me, and even though I know cockroach boy did not tell her to say these things to me, it didn’t matter.  In my mind she was disobeying the judge’s direct order.  The D.A. chose this moment to walk up with my order of protection.  (And why I would need a restraining order against someone who is in prison and an order that would expire before his prison sentence is even up always baffled me.)  I/we told the D.A. what the sister had just said.  She thought it interesting, but it’s not like she could do anything about it and it’s not like the sister was suddenly going to report the crimes he committed against her.  And at that point, fat lot of good it would have done anyway.  I just wanted out of the court-house, so the D.A. took us the back way down so I would not have to walk by the father and sister and be attacked, yet again.

Even as I am writing this today, I still feel the anger from that day.   After sitting through cockroach boy’s stupid attorney’s words and then having the sister come after me because I had the nerve to make sure her criminal brother was sent to prison, I was completely spent.  I was so glad this part of the process was behind me now, but there was still a lot healing to be done.  I somehow knew this to be true.

Again, it is amazing to me, looking back, how my mind and body protected me.  How I was able to do what needed to be done in order to come out the other side.  Interestingly, as stressed as my body and mind were during this period, I never got sick.  That is, until after the sentencing.  I normally do not get sick anyway, and I really never get sick in the summer.  About a week later, though, I did get sick.  I got a cold and a hacking cough that kept me from sleeping.  Still, my body waited until after he was sentenced and in prison to allow the overwhelming stress I was going through to manifest into sickness.  Amazing!

THE COURT TRANSCRIPT — PART 2

Just as I did with the last post, I will add my comments to the proceedings in italics to differentiate it from the transcript.  It is easier than going back at the end and trying to remember what I wanted to say about a particular statement made by either the D.A. or the C.A. (cockroach’s attorney.)

At the end of my last post, I was just about to give my statement to the court.

 

“THE COURT:  Okay.  Anything from the victim, then, Miss Shriver?  Miss Shriver, is it okay if I use your full name?

Miss Shriver:  Sure.  (I had/have no problem with anyone or everyone knowing my name or what happened to me.  The girl who is called Jane Doe #2 did not want cockroach boy to see her face and chose not to come to court.  Me, I did not, nor do I care still.)

There is then the spelling of my name and some other, boring court business and then:

THE COURT:  Okay.  All right.  So we’ll be off the record for the recording of the statement that I have.  It’s entitled, “My Statement For The Court.”  Okay, go ahead.

Off the record.

THE COURT:  Okay.  Back on the record.  Thank you very much.  Is there anything else from the people?

D.A.:  I have provided the criminal protective order to the Court in Miss Shriver’s name.

THE COURT:  And you’re just requesting it as to Miss Shriver?

D.A.:  Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT:  Is there anything from probation?

D.A.:  No, Your Honor.

THE COURT:  Anything else?

C.A.:  Yes, Your Honor.  If the Court is inclined to grant — impose prison as opposed to a grant of probation, I would ask the Court to give him the low sentence of two years in state prison; not only based on the fact that he doesn’t have any adult (only because no one ever pressed charges and followed through.  He does have a juvenile record that was also entered into the record, so she really was trying to gloss over the actual facts of the case.  Imagine that!) criminal record, but also on the facts of this particular crime and all of the statements in mitigation that I — that I included, I’m sorry, in my sentencing memorandum.

Again, under the rules of Court this is less severe than other crimes that we see.  (I have to say here again that just reading this and typing it is pissing me off.  She could not possibly understand how severe it truly was and how can she even presume to compare it to any other case?  It is just infuriating.)  There was absolutely no planning (HA) or sophistication whatsoever.  (It may not have been ‘sophisticated’ and I’m not even sure how she would define this, but all I can say is there was no hesitation on his part.  Even if he had never ‘practiced’ this on a real person, he sure did practice it in his head.  I’ll say it again:  THERE WAS NO HESITATION AT ALL.)  It’s just the opposite, that he was drinking all night long with his friends and then just did this impulsive act.  (I would think that if an individual was, in fact, drinking ALL night long, he would reek of alcohol, and this was not the case.  I would believe that he was doing drugs all night, but no one tested him for that.)

I — after reading the probation report, I assumed that it was clear that cockroach boy has had a long history of mental health issues.  If there’s any doubt about that, I would be happy to continue this (Fat chance of the judge postponing, yet again, this case because of her incompetence and not getting the psyche evaluation done.  Oh, let me think about that–she had 9 stinking months to do her job, or if she did actually have it done, then it was so damning that she chose not to include it in the probation report.) and provide actual documents to the Court and to the District Attorney’s office.  They’re voluminous, and I didn’t think it was in doubt, so that’s why I did not attach them to the sentencing memorandum.  (Did she not think the judge could figure out what was relevant and what was not?)

And with regard to Static 99 (The Static-99 is a ten item actuarial assessment instrument created by R. Karl Hanson, Ph.D. and David Thornton, Ph.D. for use with adult male sexual offenders who are at least 18 year of age at time of release to the community. It is the most widely used sex offender risk assessment instrument in the world, and is extensively used in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and many European nations.), I put in my email the reason that I attached it was that it’s not — it’s not scientific.  It’s not something that we can rely on.  And even if we could, cockroach boy falls in the moderate to high, as analyzed by the professor.  (And which part of moderate to high is a good thing?  It wasn’t like the test said ‘slim to no chance’ of him doing it again.  The test said ‘moderate to high.’  That seems a huge risk to take, letting him back into society.)

I disagree with the analysis, but even if we were to assume the of four is correct, the high category starts at six, and is even worse at eight or ten.  So even if we were to use this tool, which I don’t think is effective, he still is not at hight risk even taking that into consideration.

And, again, the only way that things will change is if we offer his some solid, intensive supervision and treatment.  (Yeah, and he has to actually participate in the therapy/treatment, which in all the therapy and treatment he received prior to my attack, he clearly did not do.)

THE COURT:  Okay.  I’ve — first of all, let me say that I don’t think that the case is less serious than other 220 cases.  I think there’s room to say that it’s more serious than other 220 cases because 220 can be so –run the gamut as far as what that might include.

But I do think that this case involved an attempted forcible rape.  I think that the victim and the D.A. are correct, that had the defendant continued and been able, had there not been a good Samaritan as to this victim nearby, that this would have resulted in a completed rape.

And considering one strike, considering the sexual offense statutes that exist these days, I don’t think that the — the–this is an unusual case as far as a 220.  I think that it’s more on the aggravated end as far as the 220 is concerned.

I think that the defendant also has — I believe the defendant also has two rather serious misdemeanor — I mean — not misdemeanor, juvenile offenses in his background.

And I don’t doubt that he has some severe mental health problems and issuers, but obviously alcohol and not taking his medication doesn’t help that.  And I don’t think it makes him less serious of a risk to society.  I think he represents a serious danger to women in our community.

I’ve considered whether or not he should be granted probation.  As I said, I didn’t see under 1203.65–or 12030.65 itself that 220 was there.  But even–even if he wasn’t a mandatory prison case, even if it was presumptive prison, I would not grant probation in this case for the following reasons:  the fact that I think that the case is very serious; the fact that the crime — as far as mitigates versus aggravates in this case, I find that the only mitigate really in the case is that he entered a plea in the readiness department.

But I note that he — the case against him appears to me to have been strong.  So I don’t think that he’s probation suitable regardless.  The case involves great violence, great threat of bodily harm, and I think for the facts themselves that he deserves prison.  And, therefore, probation is hereby denied.  (Huge sigh of relief here for me.)

As to the term of the offense, I am going to follow the Probation recommendation of six years.  I find that the mitigates are, under Rule 423 (B) (3), that the defendant acknowledged wrongdoing at an early stage.  However, I note that — as Probation does — he did receive sentencing consideration in return;  (I believe that he was originally offered a two-year sentence and, just guessing here, that his stupid attorney recommended he turn it down.) other counts were dismissed, significant counts.  (I may have said it before, but originally he was charges with 4 felonies:  assault and battery, sexual assault, attempted rape and confinement.  So, in the end, he was only charged with attempted rape.)

As far as the circumstances in aggravation that the court is considering, I consider under (A) (L) that the — under 421 (A) (1), the crime involved great violence and the threat of great bodily harm.  And that it would have resulted in — appears to have resulted and would have resulted in a completed rape had he not been interrupted by a witness.

But I also do find that the case involved planning, was sophisticated.  I find under Rule 421 (B) (1) that the defendant has engaged in violent conduct; that it’s — indicates a serious danger to society.

Under Rule (B) (2) that as a juvenile he sustained true findings for 422 and 242; that he threatened to blow up the school when he was only 12 years old.  And when he was 15 years old, that he was  apparently using drugs and hit his father at the time.  And he begins the instant offenses.  (Not quite sure what this means.)

Also, as to a dismissed count, he threatened to stab a former employee.  That did not result in a conviction, but I’ve considered that.  (Yea, Judge!!!)

I’ve also considered the fact in the case involving Jane Doe #2.  I’ve also considered as an aggravant under Rule 421 (B) (5) his prior performance on juvenile probation has been unsatisfactory; and under Rule 408, that other counts were dismissed for which he could have received a consecutive sentence.

Based on that, I find that the upper term of six years is the appropriate term.

Therefore, the defendant– as far as the case is concerned, probation is hereby denied.  The defendant is committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the term of six years, with credit for 276 actual days, 41 2933.1 credits, a total of 317 days credit.  (So, six years less 317 days; of the sentence he has to serve 85%.)

The fines are $40 court security fee, the $30 ICNA fee.  The defendant is ordered to register as a sex registrant for the rest of his life.

A few other ‘housekeeping issues’ and then:

THE COURT:  All right.  You’re also not to have any contact directly, indirectly, personally, electronically, telephonically or written with Tamerie, T-A-M-E-R-I-E; Shriver,                    S-H-R-I-V-E-R.  You’re not to have any contact with her through a third-party except an attorney of record, not to go within 100 yards of her.”

 

A few more details and then his attorney asked that he remain locally, so that his family could visit him more easily.  I was sitting there shaking my head ‘no’ but the judge did grant that request.  And that was it.  It was over.  After a very long nine months, which he spent in the city jail, he would now be moved to the state prison that is down near the border.  As far as I was concerned, Alcatraz would have been more suitable, but I wasn’t asked for my input on the facility.

Next post I will tell you about what happened after court, when we walked out into the main area.  All I’ll say now is that I was accosted by his father and sister.

THE COURT TRANSCRIPT – PART ONE

Today’s post is coming directly from the court transcript.  To differentiate my comments from the content of the transcript, I will put my comments in italics, and everything else  from that delightful day will be in regular type.  I will not be including all of the transcript, just the pertinent parts.  If you’ve ever been to court or watched a court proceeding on television, you know there is a lot of superfluous chatter, and while important to the overall case, it is not important enough to bore you with.  Also, for some reason I have never chosen to use my attacker’s name and have just referred to him as cockroach boy.  I will continue to do that.  Part of it is I don’t want to give him the honor of naming him and partly because I still see him as a cockroach.  I will also not use his attorney’s or the D.A.’s names.  This is all part of the public record, but I feel like it is somehow ‘cleaner’ to leave actual names out.

We went to court in Chula Vista, because Coronado is in the “South Bay” district of San Diego.

“IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO                                                                                                                  SOUTH COUNTY DIVISION

SAN DIEGO, CA – THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 2012 – 2:40 PM

THE  COURT:  Okay, I have read and considered the probation report and the recommendation.  I’ve also read and considered the sentencing memorandum.  It looks like there are some statements from the victims (besides my statement, there was a statement from the girl he pulled the bathing suit bottoms down of the month before my attack.)  So let me read those.

D.A.:  Thank you.

THE COURT:  Have you seen these?  (Speaking to cockroach boy’s attorney, referred to from now on as ‘C.A.’ for cockroach attorney.)

C.A.:   Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT:  Okay.  I’ve read the letters from the victims as well.  Do you wish to be heard as far as sentence?

C.A.:  Yes, Your Honor.  I will not reiterate everything that I wrote in my sentencing memorandum.  I would like to point out that cockroach boy has family members here. They have been here for all of the court hearings as well as his stepfather. (Now, this was a big, fat lie.  Laura and I were there for all the hearings, including the bail hearing 4 days after the attack, and  NEVER were any family members present.)  He has several family members that have been here each of his court hearings.  He does have a lot of support.

 But most importantly, I don’t think it’s possible to understand cockroach boy or his actions unless his mental health issues are taken into consideration.  Even without the mental health issues, under the Rules of Court the — this court does have to take into consideration the seriousness of the crime as it relates to other crimes that we see in this courtroom all the time.

 And based on what we normally see, this was relatively–I don’t want to use a word that minimizes what happened, but it’s less serious than other crimes of this nature that we’ve seen.  (Okay, at this point, I am ready to come out of my seat and attack his stupid attorney.  She was basically saying that, while he did attack me, it really wasn’t that bad.  All I could think was, that’s let him attack you and see if you think the same way.)

And then when you can throw in the fact it’s occurred because of his mental health issues, it just makes it far less serious and more understandable.  (I could never understand how she could say these words with a straight face.  Even today as I am writing this, it still pisses me off and I’d like to slap her silly for trying to defend his actions.)

If we really want to do something that will change the circumstances (can’t change them, they happened) and make sure that this doesn’t happen again, then we should give him probation.  (As I mentioned in a prior post, I knew this was a possibility, but hearing her say it in court was incredibly upsetting, especially after her minimizing the actual crime.)  He will not get any treatment while he is in custody if he is sentenced to prison.  He will not get supervision afterwards.  Nothing will change except for that he’ll be taken off the streets for some amount of time, then he’s going to be released and may even be worse because of his incarceration in prison than he was before he came in.  (Ah, let me think about this- off the streets?- sounds good to me.  And I will say at this point that I believe, in fact, if he lives through his prison experience, he will definitely be worse when he is released.  He will not only have been in prison for approximately 5 years, he will have been someone’s bitch, he’ll be extremely angry and he’ll be a much better criminal.  Believe me, I considered all of these things, and I struggled with it.  Ultimately, though, I came to the conclusion that his crimes deserved prison.)

So we are asking the court to impose probation, give him very intensive supervision requirements, and get him treatment and follow-up that will change things so that this sort of thing does not happen again in the future.  (He has had treatment in the past, and fat lot of good it did.  In fact, he was supposed to be headed for an inpatient treatment facility just days after my attack.  Decided to have a last blow-out before being committed by his family.  Interesting, huh?)

THE COURT:  Anything from the People?

D.A.:  Yes, Your Honor.  Your Honor, the People are asking the court to follow the recommendation of Probation (this is the Department of Probation, which is who, after reading all the police reports, and all the other information available, including my statement and the statement of the ‘Jane Doe,’ decides and recommends a sentence to the judge), not to be confused with plain old probation, which is what his stupid attorney thought he should get,) which is the six years maximum on this.  He is ineligible for probation.  And it is the People’s position that this is not an unusual case.

The Defense wants us to not consider the Static 99 that says that — told us that his risk of re-offending is moderate to high, and yet she’s provided us no alternative.  We don’t have a doctor’s report.  We don’t have one page of anything verifying any of these mental conditions he’s supposed to have.  All we have are facts of these cases.  (Interestingly enough, his attorney never bothered to actually get the psyche evaluation done.  Or if she did, it was so damaging that she chose not to include it, though her argument was based on his supposed mental condition.)

And when I say CASES, I mean two instances, a month apart; the first one in which he removed the bathing suit bottom of a young woman; and the second one in which he went further, he removed her bottom and got on top of her, straddled her.

And the only reason there weren’t more serious physical injuries, there was a good Samaritan there who intervened and stopped what surely would have been a rape of that victim, Miss Shriver, who is present in court.

The emotional injuries that both of these victims have suffered are lasting.  They continue today.  They will continue into the future.  And Miss Shriver will be addressing the Court.  She would like to address the court to share some of that.

In addition to this not being an unusual case, Your Honor, I think that here are some aggravants under the Rules of Court that should be mentioned that weren’t.

 One is the vulnerability of each of these victims under 4.421 (A) (3).  These were both women who were walking alone.  They were vulnerable  to an attack by this defendant because they were alone and didn’t have anyone to protect them except for, thank goodness, a good Samaritan who stepped in.

Also under 4. 421. (A) (8), Your Honor, the manner of the crime in the situation involving Miss Shriver, this defendant walked by her.  He walked by her.  They made eye contact.  She gave him a greeting, and he decided — he made a decision to come back around and attack her.

So he chose his victim in Miss Shriver, and he came back around and attacked her.  So there was certainly some planning and thought that took place before he pushed her down, removed her bottoms and got on top of her.

Also, 4.421.(A) (2), Your Honor, wasn’t mentioned.  And I think it is important to show that his — based on his criminal history that we know from the Probation Report (I have a copy of this Probation Report and I will be sharing things from it at a later date.  So I knew exactly what his criminal history was.) and these two acts, they were increasing in seriousness.  Because the first one, all he did was remove the pants from the victim and chickened out, or didn’t take it a step further.  But a month later he did take it a step further, and pushed her down, and he was on top of her.  So he is — his crimes did indeed increase in seriousness.

Alcohol, Your Honor, is certainly not an excuse for these crimes.  That doesn’t make this an unusual case.  (Cockroach boy claimed that he was drunk.  He may have been drinking the night before, but during the attack I never smelled alcohol on him and given the position we were in, I would have smelled it had it been present.)

And  —  oh, Your Honor, regarding circumstances in mitigation, there are very few.  And I think even when you look at what those factors are, they actually weigh against this particular defendant.  In particular 4.423 (A) (5), that the defendant had no predisposition to do that.  Again, we go back to the facts of this case.  He did it once, and then he took it further the second time.  And we’re just fortunate it didn’t go any further than it did with Miss Shriver because of the individual that stepped in and stopped it.

I do think that because he is statutorily ineligible, because the aggravants outweigh the mitigates, this should be a six-year case.  And I’d like the Court to hear from MIss Shriver as well.”

I’ll stop here for today.  It is long and a pain to type from the transcript.  As you can see, though, it was an incredibly difficult day.  Having to sit there and listen to his stupid attorney make light of what happened, to try to excuse it, was almost more than I could stand.

I will also mention here that this took place LAST year.  I am no longer in the same place emotionally that I was then.  I continue to get email from concerned friends and family members that I am still suffering from and not moving on from my attack.  I can assure you all that I am fine, great, in fact.  I am writing about my experience to help others and in the hope that I am somehow able to affect change in how sexual assault is perceived and dealt with.