Stanford University students relieved by passing of Brock Turner bill in California

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ByChris Nguyen KGO logo
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Stanford students relieved by passing of Brock Turner bill
After Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill inspired by the Brock Turner case, we spoke with some students at Stanford University who were relieved by the bill's passing.

STANFORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation inspired by the Brock Turner case, mandating prison sentences for those who assault unconscious victims.

RELATED: Brock Turner registers as sex offender in Ohio

At Stanford University on Friday, there was some relief for students who have been calling for justice.

"It's an extremely important step," said student Stephanie Pham. "It's time that survivors be heard."

RELATED: Victim writes letter to Brock Turner

Pham is the co-founder of Students for Sexual Assault Prevention. She was stunned when former student athlete Brock Turner was sentenced to just six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman after a night of drinking.

"It just screamed that survivors were not going to be supported in the legal system, that they were not going to get justice even when the perpetrator is found guilty of his crimes," she said.

To this: But on Friday, Brown signed into law AB 2888 that mandates prison for those convicted of sexually assaulting unconscious or severely intoxicated victims.

RELATED: Protesters gather outside Ohio home of Brock Turner

The governor, who generally opposes adding more mandatory minimums, says he signed the bill because it brings a "measure of parity" to sentencing for similar crimes.

Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Silicon Valley, co-sponsored the bill, which also prohibits a court from granting probation.

"We've seen a prevalence of this issue and it's important to note that rape is rape," he said. "And if you're going to do the crime, then you're going to do the time."

PHOTOS: Inside look at jail cell where Brock Turner served 3-month sentence

ABC7 News got an inside look at the Santa Clara Co. Jail cell where convicted sex offender Brock Turned served his 3-month sentence on Friday, September 2, 2016 in San Jose, Calif.

Many had called Turner's sentence too light. Judge Aaron Persky, who presided over the Turner trial, is now facing a recall campaign.

"Rape continues to be seen as this regrettable mistake," said Pham. "When rape is a crime, it's a violent offense. And it's time that the legal system and universities treat it as that."

The case also inspired AB 701, which Governor Brown just signed as well, allowing more forms of sexual assault to be categorized as rape.

Click here for more stories in the Brock Turner case.