Ex-Stanford swimmer registers as sex offender in Ohio after assault

Tue Sep 6, 2016 11:13am EDT
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(Reuters) - Former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner has registered as a sex offender in his home state of Ohio, following his conviction for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015 and public outrage over his six-month jail sentence.

The controversy over a sentence seen as too short and over the fact Turner, a one-time U.S. Olympic hopeful, was released early has stoked intense debate about sexual assault on U.S. college campuses and beyond.

Turner, 21, was freed from jail last Friday after serving just half of his sentence for convictions of assault with intent to commit rape, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an unconscious person. California jail inmates can serve half time for factors like good behavior.

The Ohio Attorney General's online sex offender registry had a brief listing for Turner online as of Tuesday morning, detailing his appearance and his Greene County, Ohio address.

Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer told Reuters on Friday that Turner would be registered as a sex offender in Ohio for life and would have to check in with authorities every three months for as long as he lives in the county.

Turner, 19 at the time of the assault, was arrested after two students saw him on top of an unconscious woman near a dumpster. Court records show Turner expressed remorse over the assault and attributed his behavior to a night of drinking.

A harrowing letter from the victim, who remains anonymous, helped draw attention to the case. She detailed the January 2015 assault in graphic terms. The letter prompted an outpouring of support from celebrities and politicians, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

The judge in the case, Aaron Persky, has also been the target of fierce criticism for handing down what was widely considered to be an unduly short sentence to the former swimmer. Protesters have pushed to have Persky recalled from the bench and last month he requested to be reassigned to the Santa Clara County court's civil division.

Local broadcasters showed several people protesting outside Turner's family home after his release on Friday, some of whom were armed and carrying signs encouraging violence. One sign read "castrate rapists," according to footage aired by WDTN.   Continued...

An undated photo of Brock Allen Turner is shown in Ohio State General's office website.  Courtesy Ohio Attorney General's Office/Handout via REUTERS