Rep. Ted Poe, R-Tex., will highlight the Stanford sexual assault victim’s letter on the House floor Thursday, bringing attention in Washington to the widely publicized case. Poe will also demand that the “pathetic sentence” be overturned and that Californians recall Judge Aaron Persky.
“As a grandfather, I want to know that my granddaughters are growing up in a society that has zero tolerance for this crime,” Poe’s prepared remarks read, according to BuzzFeed. “No means no.”
Brock Turner, 20, was convicted last week on three counts of sexual assault and sentenced to six months in county jail and three years of probation. The maximum possible sentence was 14 years in prison.
The letter to be read by Poe was written by the victim and read aloud directly to Turner in court. The victim has chosen to remain anonymous but her words have gone viral, including being read on-air on CNN.
“Mr. Speaker, I was a criminal court judge and prosecutor for 30 years, this judge got it wrong,” say Poe’s prepared remarks.
Over 850,000 people had signed a change.org petition in favor of removing Persky for the “lenient sentence he allowed in the Brock Turner rape case,” as of Thursday morning. A White House petition calling for the judge’s impeachment had 86,246 signatures.
Persky, who was also a student athlete, sparked outrage when he suggested that a harsher sentence would have “a severe impact” on Turner and that “he will not be a danger to others.”
Poe called Turner an “arrogant defendant,” saying he was glad the Stanford student had appealed the case because it provides the opportunity for a harsher sentence to be given.
“As a country, we must change our mentality and make sure that our young people recognize sexual assault and rape for the heinous crimes that they are,” Poe says in the prepared remarks.