When the Turner case broke, there was no one who was not incensed, but woven within the rage was a bid of contention with the general “perception” of the trial. The desperate insistence that Brock Turner was granted leniency in the face of his heinous crime because of his family’s bank account balance rather than the pink hue of his blotchy, ill-configured face was shouted from every direction. Once again, I look forward to the forthcoming embarrassed silence.
Judge Aaron Persky made headlines for all the wrong reasons last month after he sentenced Stanford rapist Brock Turner to probation and a pathetic six months in county jail for raping an unconscious woman. Now he’s making headlines again for sentencing Raul Ramirez, a 32-year-old immigrant from El Salvador who sexually assaulted his female roommate in a case very similar to Turner’s, to three years in state prison.
The sentence was part of a plea agreement overseen by the judge and signed in March, but which only became public knowledge recently. While this sentence is standard given the crime, Persky was immediately criticized for being lenient with Turner and ignoring the minimum of two years in state prison prescribed by law, while treating this very similar case in the way it should be treated.
“What’s happened with Mr Ramirez is standard,” said Alexander Cross, a defense attorney who briefly represented Ramirez when his “very poor” family could afford a private lawyer. “The anomaly is the Stanford case.”
Like Turner, Raul Ramirez had no criminal record before he was convicted. Both women were assaulted in a similar manner, but unlike Turner, Ramirez admitted to the assault and told responding officers that he “knew what he did was wrong and he wanted to say sorry.” When two students caught Turner on top of the unconscious woman he made a run for it, and when questioned by police, claimed it was consensual.
Bail for Ramirez was set at $200,000, higher than the $150,000 bail set for Turner.