Published: Thursday, October 12, 2017 @ 9:01 AM
By: Will Garbe - Staff Writer
Stanford University has removed the dumpster where Brock Turner assaulted an unnamed woman in 2015, and installed landscaping and several benches in its place.
The site will eventually feature a plaque with an excerpt from the now-famous sentencing letter authored by the victim, who is known to the public as Emily Doe.
A spokesman for Stanford said the site “is a contemplative space for members of the Stanford community.”
“Out of respect for Emily Doe, we have nothing further to add,” said E.J. Miranda, Stanford spokesman.
Doe’s letter, which recounted Turner’s assault, quickly spread on social media in summer 2016. The letter invoked a national conversation and garnered a response from then-Vice President Joe Biden.
“Your honor, If it is all right, for the majority of this statement I would like to address the defendant directly,” Doe said to the judge before addressing Turner.
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today,” she said.
Turner, an Oakwood High School graduate, was unanimously found guilty by jury in a behind-the-dumpster sexual assault of the intoxicated, unconscious 22-year-old woman at Stanford University in January 2015.
After he attacked his victim, the then-19-year-old freshman admitted he didn’t know her name and couldn’t even describe her to police, according to court records released after Turner’s sentencing.
Turner was convicted on three felony violations: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.
His sentence — six months in jail, three years’ probation and a lifelong requirement that he register as a sex offender — fell far short of the six years in prison prosecutors sought.
Because of California sentencing law, Turner served three months of his six-month sentence.
A 911 call on Jan. 18, 2015, alerted the Stanford University Department of Public Safety about an unconscious woman in a student residential area of fraternity houses. Police records documented her condition: She was behind a dumpster in a fetal position, her dress pulled up to her waist exposing her because her underwear was on the ground 6 inches away from her body.
“On that morning, all 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,” Doe wrote in her sentencing letter.
Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, a friend of Doe’s, said she pushed the university to create the memorial, according to an interview she gave to WHIO-TV affiliate KPIX-TV.
“I wanted Stanford to do this because I wanted there to be a permanent symbol and reminder for how important it is to take sexual assault seriously,” Dauber said in the interview.
The fraternity neighboring the site additionally released a statement to the Stanford Daily, the school’s student newspaper, stating the organization “wholeheartedly agrees with the administration’s decision to place a contemplative space that brings awareness of sexual assault to the greater community.”
“We, along with our neighboring houses, see ourselves as stewards of this space and will do our very best to preserve its significance,” the fraternity’s statement to the student newspaper read.