Chanel Miller's powerful victim impact statement to Brock Turner, who sexually assaulted her, drew widespread praise
The woman who was sexually assaulted by a Stanford University swimmer in 2015 — and who later went internationally viral with an empowering anonymous statement at his sentencing — has revealed her identity with the publication of a memoir.
The New York Times reports the woman formerly known as “Emily Doe” reveals her name, Chanel Miller, in her upcoming memoir, titled Know My Name, which is scheduled for release on Sept. 24.
In a clip from an upcoming segment of 60 Minutes, Miller reads from her victim impact statement delivered in a California courtroom to her assailant, Brock Turner, who served just three months in jail in a decision that sparked outrage and led to the 2018 recall of the presiding judge in the case.
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me,” Miller reads. “In newspapers, my name was ‘unconscious, intoxicated woman.’ Ten syllables, and nothing more than that. I had to force myself to relearn my real name, my identity. To relearn that this is not all that I am. That I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party found behind a dumpster, while you are the All-American swimmer at a top university, innocent until proven guilty with so much at stake.”
In March 2016, Turner, who was 20 at the time of the assault, was found guilty of three felonies for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside an on-campus fraternity party in January 2015.
Turner was discovered on top of the victim behind a dumpster by two graduate students from Sweden. When he ran away, the pair chased him down and detained him until police arrived.
During the trial, Turner admitted to having sexual contact with the woman but claimed it was consensual.
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But prosecutor Alaleh Kianerci said Turner knew she was extremely drunk and purposely took advantage of her. “He may not look like a rapist,” she said in her closing argument, “but he is the face of campus sexual assault.”
Prosecutors asked that Turner be sentenced to six years in jail, but Judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to six months, holding that a lengthy sentence would have a “severe impact” on him. Three months after Turner began his sentence, he was released from jail.
Persky later became the first California judge in more than 80 years to be recalled, Palo Alto Weekly reported.
Miller’s victim impact statement drew widespread praise and is seen as a precursor to the #MeToo movement.
Andrea Schulz, the editor in chief of Viking, the memoir’s publisher, spoke to The New York Times about Miller’s statement, saying, “I just remember being in my kitchen and reading this incredible, riveting piece of work.”
When Schulz learned Miller was interested in writing a book, she says, “I jumped out of my chair to acquire it …because it was just obvious to me from the beginning what she had to say and how different it was and how extraordinarily well she was going to say it. She had the brain and the voice of a writer from the very beginning, even in that situation.”