Brock Turner is not just a frat boy issue, it’s a men everywhere issue

Brock Turner
Brock Turner

(Updated with mugshot of Turner which was released by police after requests from the media)

It’s hard to fathom how a 20-year-old convicted of taking an unconscious girl behind a bin before sexually assaulting her can only be subject to a six month sentence.

But the most worrying thing about the Stanford student’s case is Brock Turner’s and his father’s insistence this case was about drink culture and promiscuity.

In remarks made to the court before sentence, both Turner and his dad insisted he shouldn’t be sent to prison.

His father described such a step for “20 minutes of action” as unnecessary and that his son would be more use educating other students about drinking and promiscuity.

It has to be remembered what that “20 minutes of action” involved.

At a college party in January 2015 Turner was spotted behind a bin, seemingly gyrating against a motionless body.

That body was a fellow party-goer, barely conscious, unaware of what was being done to her.

Confronted by two other students, Turner ran but was apprehended.

His victim only became aware of the extent of what had happened as she was subjected to a string of medical examinations.

Her underwear had been removed and she had been assaulted with a foreign object and Turner’s fingers.

We can’t know what else might have happened had he not been interrupted.

You could, and should, read his victim’s account of this incident and what followed here.

Turner insisted the girl, 19, consented, that both had drunk too much but ultimately he had done nothing wrong.

And that’s what makes his educational aspirations so chilling.

Because if he still insists, as he does, that he is innocent, then his warnings about drink and promiscuity must be a warning to other men; ‘don’t get trapped by drunk and promiscuous women or else you’ll become a victim like me’.

How else can his position be interpreted based on what he and his father have said about these crimes?

Since his sentencing last week and the publication of his victim’s impact statement, discussion has centred around rape culture on college campuses.

But that belies the problem.

Last week at Birmingham Crown Court I covered a case which was picked up widely in the press.

Picture from West Midlands Police; l-r Zaheer Abbas and Sajad Hussain
Picture from West Midlands Police; l-r Zaheer Abbas and Sajad Hussain

The case involved a 19-year-old woman, removed from Snobs nightclub after collapsing, drunk inside.

Once outside she was lured into a van where she was abducted, driven to an industrial estate and raped by Zaheer Abbas, 30.

Co-defendant Sajad Hussain, 35, was acquitted of rape but convicted of sexually assaulting the teen in the back of the van.

Both men claimed their victim had consented and been a willing participant despite CCTV evidence showing she could hardly stand.

Even as he was sentenced Hussain denied doing anything wrong and he was sorry he hadn’t got out of the van sooner.

Think about that.

He’s not sorry a young woman was horrifically raped and if he could do things again he would get out of the van and leave her to be raped by his mate.

Perhaps they will set up classes in prison warning fellow inmates about drinking culture and promiscuity?

Of course both of these cases have nothing to do with drinking culture and nothing to do with promiscuity.

Promiscuity suggests a choice to have a lot of sex, and if that floats your boat, go for it.

But neither of these girls had a choice, they weren’t capable of choosing.

Whether that was down to consumption of alcohol or anything else is utterly irrelevant.

What Brock Turner and Abbas and Hussain have in common is they didn’t give a solitary shit about consent. They knew what they wanted and they just took it with no regard for their victims.

This is not an issue about college campuses, frat boys or drinking too much. It’s about men everywhere understanding the meaning of consent.

It’s about recognition that an absence of refusal isn’t a free pass to do what they want.

If a woman, or man for that matter, is unable to say yes or no, that is not tacit consent, it’s a massive no no.

The fact it’s 2016 and we still have to say these things is utterly depressing.

The fact Brock Turner’s parents still insist their son is a victim is also utterly depressing because it’s from parents these lessons should imparted.

Turner’s continued denials and insistence this case is about drinking and promiscuity should have been aggravating factors come sentencing.

His punishment should have been increased to hammer the message home about how wrong his actions were and how seriously they are taken.

Instead he will be home by Christmas and back with a family who for the rest of his life will reinforce his idea that he is the victim here.

It is for parents, and teachers, to inform children as they enter adolescence about consent, where the line is drawn and the damage caused by crossing it.

It’s not hard to see why Turner thought it was fine to take a comatose girl behind a bin and use her as a plaything when his primary role models see nothing wrong in what he did.

It can only be hoped his victim’s powerful statement resonates more than his denials to inform, not only frat boys, but men everywhere.

And until Brock Turner can stand up and say this is about consent, and sexual assault and rape, not drinking and promiscuity, he should have no voice at all.


On the run: ‘Dangerous’ paedophile who raped two young children

Jose Manico – picture from West Midlands Police

As the Guardian reported around 1,300 dangerous offenders are on the run after jumping court bail, here’s a pretty horrific case which concluded at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday. Anyone with information on Manico’s whereabouts should contact west Midlands Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

A DANGEROUS paedophile who raped two children in almost identical attacks is on the run after being sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Twisted Jose Manico, 44, fled the country before he could face trial over the string of offences against a six year old girl in London and a boy of the same age in Birmingham a decade later.

The depraved dad, from Edgbaston, Birmingham, was described by a judge as a “dangerous offender” who continued to pose a risk to children.

Passing sentence in Manico’s absence, Judge Mark Wall QC said; “I have no doubt he must be treated as a dangerous offender.

“He committed these offences at different points in his life separated by a great deal of time.

“He targeted both a boy and a girl and on each occasion they were children of real youth.

“There is a significant risk he will continue to offend in this way into the future.”

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Jailed; Paedophile who used depression forum to groom 14-year-old girl

Mark Caudery - Picture from West Midlands Police
Mark Caudery – Picture from West Midlands Police

A paedophile who groomed a 14-year-old girl for sex after meeting her in an Internet chatroom has been jailed for three years.

Mark Caudery, 34, targeted his young victim in a forum for those suffering depression as she tried to come to terms with the death of her father.

The pair exchanged messages through Facebook with Caudery encouraging the teen to send him indecent images and eventually a graphic video of herself.

After they met for sex in February 2014, Caudery then sent the girl a video of himself performing a sex act.

He was eventually arrested when his victim confided in a school mentor telling them what had happened.

Appearing at Birmingham Crown Court he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child, inciting a child to engage in a sex act and performing a sex act in the presence of a child.

He also admitted two charges of possession of indecent images of a child after police discovered 280 images, some of his victim as well as other children, on a laptop computer.

Samantha Forsyth, defending, said Caudery, of Sheffield Road, Kings Heath, was university educated and repulsed by his own actions.

She said he had previously sought help, even walking into a police station in 2006 with indecent images and begging for treatment.

On that occasion he received a only a police caution but never any help to address his attraction to children.

Urging the court to pass a suspended sentence she said; “He is a man with insight and aware of how society will view him.

“Not many people have this level of insight and before coming to court are begging for help to control his urges.

“In custody nothing is going to be done with him, the help and intervention he needs is not going to be available to him.

“He is desperate to stop reoffending.”

Jailing Caudery for three years, Judge Richard Bond said; “You are a self-confessed paedophile and have been for a number of years.

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Sparkhill paedophile jailed after year on the run

David Swift - Picture from West Midlands Police
David Swift – Picture from West Midlands Police

A “depraved” paedophile who fled the UK after being caught with over 100,000 sick images of children has been jailed after a year on the run.

David Swift, aged 54, was spotted in Starbucks on Colmore Row, Birmingham, looking at indecent images on a laptop in October last year.

Concerned customers called police and, after efforts to escape, Swift was arrested and charged.

After admitting six counts of possession and six counts of distributing indecent images of children, Swift, of Phillip Sydney Road, Sparkhill, fled the UK, firstly to Germany to visit his grown up son, and then to Ireland.

It was there he was eventually arrested in November and returned to the UK to face justice.

During his time on the run he was listed as one of West Midlands Police’s most wanted criminals.

Appearing via video link at Birmkngham Crown Court he was finally sentenced to four years and eight months behind bars with an extended five year licence period on Thursday (December 17).

Patrick Sullivan prosecuting, said Swift had amassed a library of sick images some of which he had shared with others on the internet.

He told the court; “Customers were at Starbucks on Colmore Row, the defendant was there and had a laptop.

“They (the customers) couldn’t help but notice the defendant was scrolling through the screen and there were jpegs which showed naked children.

“Acting with deep concern and civic responsibility they called the police.

“There were very very many images of the worst depravity to children.

“There were 137,293 still images and 4,000 moving images and there was distribution through a file sharing site.”

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