By now you’ve heard of the Stanford rapist – the 20-year-old convicted on three counts of sexual assault of a woman, but sentenced to just six months plus probation and may serve even less time than that.
You’d expect Dianne Feinstein or Barbara Boxer to say something: they’re both California lawmakers who have been outspoken about violence against women.
Yet the person taking to the floor of Congress to call for the removal of the judge in the case and to read the victim’s statement aloud was a Republican lawmaker from Texas.
Rep. Ted Poe of Humble says the victim’s letter compelled him to share it publicly, because “everything went wrong” in terms of protecting the victim.
“The judge was on the side of the defendant, was worried about his reputation,” he says. “The defendant never really admitted to the crime and law enforcement really kind of badgered… the victim and made it seem like it was her fault.”
With his background as a judge and prosecutor in Houston, Poe says he was “incensed” about the way the victim was treated. “Justice didn’t occur in her case,” he says, “and that’s why I took to the House floor and talked about the whole case.”
Poe says he focused on the judge because he had the opportunity to “punish” Brock Turner, but the judge “almost apologized” for giving him six months in a local jail.
“That’s an extremely, extremely unfair and low sentence in a case where a person is convicted of sexual assault,” he says. “Probably any judge would have given a whole lot more than just six months – I mean, car thieves get more than six months in jail.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.
Post prepared by Hannah McBride.