This past April, 18-year-old David Becker went to a house party in Massachusetts. While there, Becker sexually assaulted two young women who were asleep in an upstairs bedroom. From Salon:
The allegations came to light after an East Longmeadow High School student told a school resource officer that rumors were going around that two girls had become intoxicated at the party and were sexually assaulted there. According to accounts, as the party was winding down, the girls went into an upstairs bedroom and fell asleep. MassLive says that “each reported waking up to Becker sexually assaulting them.” One girl said she awakened to discover him penetrating her with a finger.
David Becker, a white student athlete, sexually assaulted two unconscious women at a party, and last week, a judge handed down his sentence: Two years probation, during which time he is to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and his victims. Becker will have to submit to a sex offender evaluation, but will not be required to register as a sex offender. Becker will have no conviction on his record. He can attend college out-of-state. One of David Becker’s victims offered an impact statement during the trial, advocating against prison time. Our society has done such a remarkable job of blaming rape victims, an actual victim defended her own rapist.
And who can forget Brock Turner, the white Stanford athlete who was found sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in an alley. Every article written about this rapist began by highlighting what a fantastic swimmer Turner is. No one saw his mug shot for months, just an adorable photo of an innocent-looking white kid who could never rape anybody.
Brock Turner’s father wrote a letter to the judge, a letter that was so awful, so obscene, and so completely devoid of any empathy towards his son’s victim, that survivors all over the country, including myself, tore Mr. Turner a new sphincter. Brock Turner was sentenced to a whopping 6 months in county jail, but he will be out on September 2:
Brock Turner’s sentence has already been cut in half, Sergeant James Jensen tells ELLE.com.
“The court system tells us when they should be released from our custody and that is September 2,” says Jensen, the public information officer at Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, where Turner was booked. The release date is confirmed by online inmate records, which indicate that Turner was booked June 2. He will have served three months.
Three months for sexual assault. Why? Well, you might recall the judge in Turner’s case, a particularly noxious man named Aaron Persky, said a prison sentence would “have a severe impact on him.” Because all that matters is how severely impacted the white male rapist is.
But, when the rapist is African-American, the penalties are much, much different, even for an African-American athlete. Corey Batey raped an unconscious woman when he was a 19-year-old standout football player and student at Vanderbilt. There was ample evidence Batey raped this young woman, just as there was ample evidence Brock Turner sexually assaulted his victim. Batey was found guilty of three felony counts including aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Corey Batey was remanded into custody, and must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 to 25 years in prison. A jury found Brock Turner guilty of multiple felony rape charges, but unlike Corey Batey, Turner will spend 3 months in county jail.
White male privilege is a free pass to rape. Brock Turner and Corey Batey both committed acts of sexual violence against unconscious women, as did David Becker. But only the African-American predator is serving any time in prison. David Becker received less of a punishment than a shoplifter. It’s fairly obvious that the judicial system does not support victims of rape, sexual violence, sexual assault, and abuse. Nor does the judicial system seem to be fair when it comes to sentencing sexual predators. If it was, Brock Turner, David Becker, and Corey Batey would have received similar sentences, and would all be serving time in prison.
All three of these men are predators. All three of these men left a wake of destruction behind them. All three of these men ruined lives. Why is Corey Batey the only predator in prison? Why is Brock Turner going to be walking the streets in early September, free to sexually assault another woman? Why will David Becker never have a criminal record?