Stanford Had a Rape Every Two Weeks Before Brock Turner Was Caught
The elite college reported 26 sexual assaults in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Then 17 days into 2015 came the most shocking one in recent memory.
Stanford University reported a sexual assault every two weeks in the three years leading up to Brock Turner’s rape of an unconscious woman in 2015.
The elite college reported 26 rapes on campus in 2012, 2013, and 2014, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education, or about one sexual assault every 14 days.
Then, almost exactly two weeks into 2015, another woman was raped on campus.
On Jan. 17, 2015, Turner, a Stanford swimmer was caught raping the anonymous woman behind a dumpster when two eyewitnesses stopped the attack.
Turner, 20, was sentenced last week to six months in jail and three years of probation after being convicted of three felonies. The lenient sentence by Judge Aaron Persky has received harsh criticism, even leading to a potential recall effort.
Turner was not without controversy either. In a statement obtained by The Guardian, he told the judge that “party culture” had “shattered” him, causing him to assault the woman.
“The night of January 17th changed my life and the lives of everyone involved forever,” Turner wrote, adding that he’s lost two jobs based on the reports surrounding his criminal charges. “I wish I never was good at swimming or had the opportunity to attend Stanford, so maybe the newspapers wouldn’t want to write stories about me.”
Turner’s father was lambasted for writing a letter to Persky arguing that his son receive probation instead of jail time because incarceration would be “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”
In stark contrast, Turner’s unnamed rape victim read a statement to him in court that has been shared more than 12 million times since it was published online.
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me,” she said. “To girls everywhere, I am with you.”
Nine higher education institutions reported more rapes than Stanford in 2014. Brown University and the University of Connecticut tied for the most reported rapes, with 43 rapes each for the year. (The schools have 9,181 students and 26,541 students enrolled, respectively.)
Baylor University had four rapes reported in 2014, six in 2013, and two in 2012. The mishandling of sexual assaults at Baylor—nearly the same size as Stanford—led to an external investigation, which found that the school retaliated against rape accusers and that the winning football program believed itself to be “above the rules.” Following a “fundamental failure” to enact Title IX, the school ousted its beloved president, Kenneth Starr, and its revered football coach, Art Briles.
The Texas school falls below even the top 100 universities in terms of rape reports from that year, according to a Washington Post analysis of the data.
According to the Post's analysis, Reed College has the most reported rapes in the country per 1,000 students, with 12.9. Wesleyan followed with 11.5; Swarthmore College with 11.0; Knox College with 10.0; Williams College with 8.9; Pomona College with 8.5; Bowdoin College with 8.3; Gallaudet University with 8.1; Beloit College with 6.9; and Dartmouth with 6.7.
By comparison, Stanford reported 1.5 rapes per 1,000 students.
Despite these numbers, countless studies show rape is still dramatically underreported. Ultimately, the rapes at Stanford show only a small picture of the 4,964 sexual assaults reported at four-year U.S. colleges and universities in 2014.