Brock Turner, the former Stanford swimmer who was convicted of rape earlier this year, walked free from a California jail early Friday after serving just three months. He was originally supposed to serve six months in jail.
Brock left the Santa Clara County Jail at 6 a.m. local time, carrying a brown paper bag and his jacket. He did not speak to reporters, though they were stationed outside of the facility. He immediately left in a car.
Despite having a very minor punishment, Turner must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, complete a sex offender management program and submit to sporadic drug and alcohol testing. He is expected to return to his hometown in Ohio, where he will complete a three-year probation, NBC News reports.
The newly 21-year-old was arrested back in January when two students found him on top of an unconscious woman outside the Kappa Alpha fraternity house while a party was going on. The students who found him held Turner until authorities arrived. The victim was found unconscious behind a dumpster with her underwear beside her. She did not wake up until several hours later, while she was in the hospital.
Turner later told police that he was too intoxicated to realize what was happening. In an interrogation video seen by NBC News, a detective asked Turner if he would recognize his victim if he saw her. He responded with a simple “probably not.” He elaborated, “My intentions were not to rape a girl without her consent… I was just trying to hook up with a girl… we were so drunk, we didn’t even know what we were on or what we were by.”
Turner has since been banned from Stanford and swimming, and initially faced a maximum of 14 years behind bars. He was only given a 6 month jail sentence and many complained that the ruling was too lenient. But Judge Aaron Persky — who has since been heavily critiqued by the public, with many demanding his removal — somehow had empathy for the rapist.
“A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him,” Persky said at Turner’s sentencing. “I think he will not be a danger to others.”
The 23-year-old victim, who had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit at the time of the assault and no memory of the attack, had a different outlook. During her testimony, she read a heart-wrenching letter to Turner directly.
“You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today,” she said. “I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt.”
Turner will live with his parents for the next three years and plans on appealing his sentence in hopes of getting his name removed from the sex offender’s register.