About a dozen armed protesters have shown up to the house of convicted sex offender Brock Turner with signs calling for the castration and killing of rapists, and some say they plan to frequently return to make him “uncomfortable in his own home”.
Turner, who was released from California jail on Friday after serving three months for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at Stanford University, has returned to his family’s home in Bellbrook, Ohio, where some activists with assault rifles have gathered to criticize the light punishment.
“With an extremely lenient sentence, he can think ‘I can get away with this,’” Daniel Hardin, who carried an M4 assault rifle, said in an interview. “The message we want to send is … ‘If you try this again, we will shoot you.’”
Turner, a 21-year-old former swimmer at the elite northern California university, was caught assaulting a woman by a dumpster outside a fraternity party in January 2015. After a jury convicted him of multiple felonies, Judge Aaron Persky decided in June not to send him to prison, instead sentencing him to six months in a county jail.
The ruling, along with the victim’s powerful impact statement, sparked national outrage and a high-profile campaign to recall the judge, who has since removed himself from criminal cases.
When Turner was released early on Friday for good behavior, a standard practice in California, he rushed past a mob of news cameras without commenting.
Back in Ohio, the former athlete also faced crowds of reporters at the local sheriff’s office when he showed up on Tuesday to register as a sex offender, a requirement of his sentence.
Jaimes Campbell, who brought an AR-15 rifle to the rally outside the family’s home and helped organize the action, said he wanted the protests to impede Turner’s life.
“He should not be able to go to jail for three months … and then just live his life normally,” said Campbell, 22, who lives nearby in Huber Heights. “We want to let him know that people aren’t just going to forget about what he did.”
Several of the protesters said they were affiliated with anarchist activist groups that regularly organize armed protests in Ohio, where open carry is legal.
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SOURCE: The Guardian, Sam Levin