It takes a village

The thing that has amazed me most about the Stanford rape case is that a fairly long list of people were apparently persuaded to write to the judge to ask that Brock Allen Turner be forgiven.

Did his father call around to drum up support? I’m imagining a Bob Newhart style telephone call…

Hi, It’s Dan Turner here.

Oh, pretty good. And you?

That’s great. Look, I’ll cut to the chase, I was wondering if I could ask you a favor. You see, our sun Brock has found himself in a little legal trouble, and we’re looking for people who can write letters to the judge testifying as to his good character.

Well, I don’t know that it’s necessary to go into a whole lot of detail about it. Let’s just say that he was guilty of some youthful indiscretion. You know the kind of thing. He was at a party, and he drank too much, and he got a little boisterous.

Not drunk and disorderly, exactly. No, unfortunately it was something else.

Well, if you must know, he’s been found guilty of an attempted act of unsolicited sexual intercourse.

That’s an awfully blunt word, but yes, I guess they did use the word ‘rape’ in the charges. But if it was a rape, it wasn’t a very long one — he was interrupted after a few minutes. Twenty minutes, tops. Two visiting men from Sweden saw him behind the dumpster and…

Dumpster. You know, those big containers on trucks that you put trash in.

Hello? Hello? Are you still there?

Yes, he allegedly attacked a woman behind a dumpster, that’s about the long and short of it. Anyway…

Well, she didn’t say no, but she didn’t say yes either, and apparently you’re supposed to say yes these days. You know how colleges are with political correctness!

No, she didn’t say a word. The thing of it is, see, she was unconscious.

Hello? Hello? Did we get cut off again?

Well, she’d been drinking a lot too, and she passed out, and he dragged her behind a dumpster, and one thing led to another, and boys will be boys, you know? He says she definitely had an orgasm though.

I don’t know, maybe she was into that kind of thing, I don’t judge. Point is, could you write a letter to the judge, asking for leniency? It just seems so unfair to Brock. Ace all your tests and get in to Stanford and nobody gives a damn, but rape just one unconscious woman and they treat you like you’re some sort of monster!

We were surprised too. I mean, he’d never raped anyone before, it’s not like it was a habit. Now he’s even off his food. If you cook him a steak, he just stares at that piece of bleeding meat like it’s some sort of personal criticism, I don’t understand it. It’s going to ruin his chances of making it into the Olympic team. So anyhow, do you think you can write a letter to the judge to say what a good guy he is?

Well, obviously, but can you say it anyway?