Brock Turner inspires CA bill that would close loophole on sex assault cases

SAN JOSE Calif. (KGO) -- A California bill awaits the governor's approval that aims to close a sexual assault loophole. It would impose jail terms for all sexual assault convictions and a three year minimum sentence.

The bill also calls for three year mandatory minimum sentence. That portion is something critics say may go too far.

The majority Democrat legislature traditionally does not support legislation calling for minimum mandatory sentences, but one lawmaker said Brock Turner case presents an unusual set of circumstances.

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Jacqueline Patterson is haunted by the memory of being beaten and raped by her boyfriend 19 years ago.

"I woke up to him punching me in the head and choking me," Patterson said. "He tied me to the bed and I was sexually assaulted for 9 hours."

Patterson's ex is still serving a 13-year sentence in Missouri. She now stands up for other rape victims. The Brock Turner case makes her very angry.

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Patterson supports a bill that would close the loophole when victims are unconscious when sexually assaulted. Although she's a survivor, Patterson says a mandatory minimum sentence of three years goes too far.

"I would warn that mandatory minimums have a tendency to be handed out with extreme racial disparities," Patterson said.

FULL VIDEO: Santa Clara Co. sheriff discusses Brock Turner's time in jail, release
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Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith answered questions about Brock Turner's time in jail and his release on Friday.

Senator Jerry Hill authored the legislation was inspired from the Turner case. As for the mandatory minimum sentence of three years. Senator Hill says exceptions can be made.

"Most people didn't know this loophole existed," Hill said.

Hill says the governor himself has expressed concerns about mandatory sentencing, but the bill aims to close an important gap in the justice system concerning sexual assault victims.

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"Rape is rape, whether you forcibly rape someone or you get them drunk and unconscious and force them," Hill said.

Governor Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the bill.

Click here for full coverage on the Brock Turner case.

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