For weeks, the controversial decision now known as the Stanford rape case
has spurred a national debate over sexual assault and male privilege in
Cleveland Jewish News recently turned to prominent legal figures of Ohio, including
Attorney Ian Friedman, about the ruling and what it tells us about the current state of our
criminal justice system.
Last month, 20-year-old Brock Turner was found guilty of two counts of
penetration and one count of assault after he was found attacking an unconscious
22-year-old victim on the Stanford Campus. Turner—who had rape charges
against him thrown out—pleaded not guilty and was convicted.
The judge, however, sparked outrage when he ruled for six months of jail
probation after the prosecution pursued years of incarceration. The ruling
made national headlines-- as did a powerful letter the victim read in
court and additional letters that Turners' parents had written to
the judge that seemingly did not grasp the seriousness of their son's crime.
"Doesn’t Seem Consistent"
Speaking with Cleveland Jewish News, Attorney Friedman made it clear that
he shared in the public's surprise over the ruling. "When you
hear that a person was found guilty of sexual assault, that there were
witnesses that had to chase him down, that he originally lied about it
and really didn’t show any great deal of remorse," he said,
"and more so he and his family felt that he shouldn’t be judged
for what they deemed '20 minutes of action,' that’s a tough
argument to swallow, and this judge did." Attorney Friedman refers
to the letter from Turner's father, who believed that his son's
life should not be permanently altered due to "20 minutes of action."
Attorney Friedman also compared Turner's trial to others he's seen
first-hand and felt that the details of the case and the final ruling
don't add up. "I can understand why people are upset by this.
This is not a case where someone was wrongfully accused... and we know
from the young lady’s letter the damage and the trauma that was
caused to her as a result," he said. "I think it’s fair
to expect that there would be a sentence that includes a major component
of prison. It’s an expectation that we have today. When you have
all these admissions, the sentence that was doled out doesn’t seem
consistent with that expectation."
Along with probation and jail, Turner will have to register as a sex offender
for life. Attorney Friedman elaborated what that entails, including monitoring
of where he resides by the sheriff's office. His probation will also
include electronic monitoring—a measure that Attorney Friedman believes
could lead to the type of sentence more people had expected. "I have
to assume if he violates any terms of his probation, if he strays off
the line even the slightest, it’s more than likely he’s going
to prison for a long time," Attorney Friedman added. "He’s
on a very short leash."
If you or a loved one has been charged with a serious crime, the time to
speak with effective, proven counsel is now. At
Friedman & Nemecek, L.L.C. our knowledgeable and sought-after attorneys know what it takes to defend
the rights and interests of our clients and ensure that their voice is
heard both in and outside the courtroom.
Do not hesitate to start exploring your legal options. Contact us today
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