The article I’m focusing on today can be found: here.
Yesterday the article came out which read eerily like one I focused on a little while ago about a certain Rapist Brock Turner.
******A personal statement: Instead of referring to these people as “college students”, “athletes”, “twenty-somethings” or any other adjective, I am calling them by the title they have given themselves by their actions: rapists. I do not apologize for this decided behavior, just as they do not apologize for theirs. I refuse to conform to the media’s manner of “humanizing”. I will call it like I see it. Also, I think it goes without saying, but trigger warning, sexual assault and rape.******
The summary of this article is that Rapist Austin Wilkerson assaulted an unconscious woman. He told his friends he was going to “take care of her” and he ADMITTED to assaulting her while she was heavily intoxicated and “unconscious”. While this story is far from unfamiliar, it is not the injustice I’m calling out specifically. I’m calling out the sentence (or lack thereof) for this case. Rapist Austin Wilkerson was given the sentence of “two years of so-called “work release” and 20 years to life on probation”. (For comparison-the state of Colorado has a “normal” sentence for this crime as: 4 to 12 years in state prison.) He got community service and probation for forcing himself on someone, taking away their privacy and intimacy. He took their confidence, their innocence, their way of looking at the world and all that will happen to him is a finger wag and a “don’t do that again”.
Rapist Austin Wilkerson reportedly changed his story under oath multiple times.
And yet his punishment wasn’t anything more than a time-out.
If you can stomach it, I invite you to read the article and just how much his story changed, his case outcome in comparison to his actions and to reflect on what this means as a whole. What it means for our society, for victims of crimes everywhere.
And I want to highlight the Judge’s thoughts- so that we can examine what it is that led us here. “I don’t know that there is any great result for anybody. Mr Wilkerson deserves to be punished, but I think we all need to find out whether he truly can or cannot be rehabilitated.”
The victim asked for as much mercy as her rapist showed her that night. But justice was not found in that courtroom.
The one piece of solace I take is that at least this young woman had the lawyers she did. Because they did their jobs. One of them even went on record saying: “These young, college-age offenders who perpetrate rape on campus are getting some sort of privileged discount … compared to other violent offenders. We’re not entirely surprised [about the outcome of the trial], but we’re certainly disappointed.”
I can’t sit here and write these responses without feeling the anger and frustration of a hundred thousand women before me, fighting for justice. I can’t sit here and read these articles without listening to the screams of a thousand silenced voices, pleading for their rights. Something must change.
To the victim of this crime, I want you to know that you are not alone. There is an army of people behind you. You have met with the most repulsive depths of the human condition and have risen above it. Always Keep Fighting.