Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has written Governor Jerry Brown to urge him to support AB 2888 that will ensure prison time for predators found guilty of sexual assault. The Stanford rape case and the light sentence of Stanford student Brock Turner in weighing his crime against an unconscious victim is driving the bill. Sanchez’s work combatting sexual assault in the Military places her in unique position to urge the Governor to support this effort.
August 31, 2016
Dear Governor Brown,
I write to you today in support of AB 2888 by California Legislators Assemblyman Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) and Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo and Santa Clara) that would ensure incarceration to predators found guilty of sexual assault.
As the highest-ranking woman on the Armed Services Committee and the founder and Chair of the Congressional Women in the Military Caucus, I understand from testimonies that sexual assault can happen anywhere, anytime and by anyone.
In 2005, I successfully pushed to address sexual assault in the military with a policy that protects victims, empowers prosecutors, and creates a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual assault and abuse.
All victims of sexual assault deserve equal treatment regardless of socio-economics, education or immigration status. However, the reality is that the law can and has failed victims by giving well-connected and affluent predators like Brock Turner an advantage with an alumni judge who will neglect the crime and ultimately disregard the victim.
During the Turner hearing, the victim read aloud to the man who raped her, “You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today. The damage is done, no one can undo it. And now we both have a choice. We can let this destroy us, I can remain angry and hurt and you can be in denial, or we can face it head on, I accept the pain, you accept the punishment, and we move on.”
However, there was no real punishment in this case because a judge abused his discretion to help a favored athlete at his alma mater. There is a serious problem in this state where well-connected individuals believe they are above accountability for sexual assault and other criminal acts because they or their families are well connected. This bill should end any impression that absolute misuse of power and influence allows people to assault others sexually with virtual impunity.
I urge you to read the victim’s full statement (below) before you make a decision about AB 2888. What she feels and knows is the pain that too many other victims of sexual assault know: absent a real punishment, they feel like there was never a crime that took place and cannot move on.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. I look forward to partnering with you to address the continuing violence against women.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)
CC: Assemblyman Bill Dodd (D-Napa)
CC: Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley)
CC: Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo and Santa Clara)
Attachment: Transcript of Stanford victim’s statement