Aside from being so poorly written it acts as a crime against literacy, the statement Brock Turner composed and read aloud at his June 2 sentencing hearing for the sexual assault of an unconscious 23-year-old woman had one glaring issue: Turner accepted no responsibility for his actions.
Instead, the swimmer blamed friends, “the heat of the moment” and, predominantly, alcohol for the rape he perpetrated.
In a portion of the statement, in which a blindsided Turner attempted to express regret for his actions, the self-pitying attacker penned a series of self-involved lamentations about his newly altered life, with little regard for the feelings of the assault's survivor.
During the day, I shake uncontrollably from the amount I torment myself by thinking about what has happened, I wish I had the ability to go back in time and never pick up a drink that night, let alone interact with [redacted]. I can barely hold a conversation with someone without having my mind drift into thinking these thoughts. They torture me. I go to sleep every night having been crippled by these thoughts to the point of exhaustion. I wake up having dreamt of these horriﬁc events that I have caused. I am completely consumed by my poor judgement and ill thought actions… My shell and core of who I am as a person is forever broken from this. I am a changed person. At this point in my life, I never want to have a drop of alcohol again. I never want to attend a social gathering that involves alcohol or any situation where people make decisions based on the substances they have consumed. I never want to experience being in a position where it will have a negative impact on my life or someone else's ever again. I've lost two jobs solely based on the reporting of my case. I wish I never was good at swimming or had the opportunity to attend Stanford, so maybe the newspapers wouldn't want to write stories about me.
One more time, for the cheap seats,
I never want to experience being in a position where [alchohol] will have a negative impact on my life or someone else's ever again.
I, I, I. Me, me, me. Alcohol, alcohol, alcohol.
In the wake of Turner's tone-deaf statement, and the heart-wrenching, eloquently penned response from his victim, many began to question how an attacker could be so blatantly unaware of the toxicity of their concrete, physical actions.
In the fourth episode of the fourth season of “Orange Is the New Black,” released on Netflix late last week, an interaction between inmate Pennsatucky and the prison guard who raped her in season three offers viewers a glimpse of the very ignorance displayed in Turner's statement.
When Pennsatucky bravely confronts Officer Coates about her rape, he is visibly astounded.
Immediately, it is evident how little Coates read into any of his interactions with the woman he claims to "love" so dearly.
Both Turner and Coates consider only their own feelings when approaching intimacy, rendering the reactions of the women they take senseless advantage of a non-issue.
Coates told Pennsatucky he loved her. Turner kissed his victim for five seconds while she was conscious. To these men, consent is subjective.