brightcove.createExperiences(); Brock Turner, the Stanford swimmer who was sentenced to six months in jail after being convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a fraternity party in 2015, has been banned for life by USA Swimming, the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States.
USA Today reports that the 20-year-old is not currently a member of USA Swimming but had been prior to his membership expiring in 2014, and that the governing body said he would “not be eligible” should he apply again for membership.
“Had he been a member, he would be subject to the USA Swimming Code of Conduct,” USA Swimming spokesperson Scott Leightman told the news outlet. “USA Swimming strictly prohibits and has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct, with firm Code of Conduct policies in place, and severe penalties, including a permanent ban of membership, for those who violate our Code of Conduct.”
Leightman also said that Turner was not a member of USA Swimming at the time of the assault in January 2015.
“Brock Turner’s membership with USA Swimming expired at the end of the calendar year 2014,” he wrote. “He was not a member at the time of his crime or since then. USA Swimming doesn’t have any jurisdiction over non-members.”
In a statement given to Judge Aaron Persky prior to his conviction, Turner lamented at the end of his swimming career, saying “I’ve lost my chance to swim in the Olympics.”
“I wish I never was good at swimming or had the opportunity to attend Stanford,” he added.
What You Need to Know: Ex-Stanford Swimmer Found Guilty of Sexually Assaulting Unconscious Woman
Turner also blamed alcohol and the college drinking culture for his actions in his statement. “I made a mistake, I drank too much, and my decisions hurt someone,” he wrote. “But I never ever meant to intentionally hurt [the victim]. My poor decision making and excessive drinking hurt someone that night and I wish I could just take it all back.”
“Before this happened, I never had any trouble with law enforcement and I plan on maintaining that. I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk taking behavior that I briefly experienced in my four months at school,” the statement continues.
Turner’s victim, who has chosen to remain anonymous, gained national attention when her 12-page victim impact statement went viral. In it, she addresses her assaulter’s swimming scholarship.
“How fast Brock swims does not lessen the severity of what happened to me, and should not lessen the severity of his punishment,” she wrote. “If a first time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be? The fact that Brock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.”
Turner admitted to the sexual contact but maintained it was consensual. Although prosecutors asked Turner be sentenced to six years in prison, he was given six months, with Judge Persky saying a longer sentence would have a “severe impact on him.” He can be released in as little as three months.
The ruling was met with outrage from those who thought it was too lenient. (Prosecutors had asked for a six years.) More than 1 million people have signed a Change.org petition asking for the removal of Judge Persky, who was given a new six-year judicial term on Tuesday.
Many have also criticized Turner’s father, Dan Turner, who penned a letter begging the judge for leniency for his son prior to sentencing.
“These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways.” he wrote. “His life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. This is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”