Stanford swimmer Brock Turner currently sits in jail, but the man who bestowed him with a six-likely-four-month sentence continues to make headlines. Judge Aaron Persky famously took mercy on Turner after he raped an unconscious woman next to a dumpster and passed around souvenir photos to prove his studliness. Persky was swayed by many letters, including Turner’s father, who said “20 minutes of action” shouldn’t result in jail time. And Persky bought the excuse of “party culture” and alcohol being to blame for Turner’s actions.
The case stirred up a fair controversy, as did a glance into Persky’s past that showed he made a similar ruling in a gang rape case. So, people demanded his removal from the bench, which wasn’t happening because Persky was recently reelected in an uncontested race. But at least Persky was pulled from a case where a male nurse sexually assaulted a woman who was under anesthesia. However, Persky hasn’t switched dockets, and now he’s delivered a comparatively harsh sentence in a case similar to the Stanford one.
Like Turner, Raul Ramirez had no criminal record before he was convicted of felony sexual assault after digitally penetrating his female roommate against her will. Turner received a lenient sentence rather than the two-year minimum for sexual assault, but Ramirez will receive three years in prison. Legal experts on the case have stressed how Persky was simply lenient with Turner rather than harsh with Ramirez, but The Guardian illustrates how Ramirez was treated differently from Turner from the very beginning:
Ramirez was arrested at his home in Santa Clara County in November 2014 after his roommate called 911 to say that he had sexually assaulted her, according to police reports.
Ramirez gave the woman a “love letter” and later entered her bedroom and [redacted] for about five to 10 minutes against her will, according to a police report, and stopped only when she started crying.
When police arrived, he admitted to the assault. “Ramirez knew what he did was wrong and he wanted to say sorry,” one officer wrote. Ramirez, who has used a Spanish interpreter in court, had his bail set at $200,000 – significantly higher than the $150,000 bail set for Turner.
This is the point where one must note that Ramirez is an immigrant rather than a star college swimmer. He expressed remorse, which doesn’t erase anything that happened, but at least he didn’t express even more regret for his sullied future like Turner did. The Guardian continued to detail the ways that Turner was favored, since he had the benefit of a private attorney and plenty of supporter letters on his side. All of these perks convinced Judge Persky that the rape survivor who wrote a devastating letter mattered less than her rapist did.
Of course, Ramirez has received a rather customary sentence for his offense. The main discrepancy is how Turner was given special treatment for a variety of reasons. Yet Persky remains on the bench.
(Via The Guardian)