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After another white male rapist receives light punishment, outrage spills over online

He will serve two years of work-release and 20 years to life of probation.


Tess Cagle


Posted on Aug 11, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 6:52 am CDT

Another day, another white male gets a light punishment after sexually assaulting a woman.

Just two months after a judge gave convicted Stanford student Brock Turner a six-month sentence after raping a peer behind a dumpster, Colorado University-Boulder alum Austin James Wilkerson has received a similarly light sentence for sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman.

Wilkerson was convicted for sexually assaulting a female student when “she had too much to drink at a St. Patrick’s Day party after telling her friends he would take care of her” in 2014, according to the Daily Camera. He was still a student at the time.  

Like Turner, Wilkerson received a light sentence. District Judge Patrick Butler sentenced him to 20 years to life on probation and just two years in the Boulder County Jail on work-release, so he will be allowed to leave jail during the day to work or go to school.

Also like Turner, the public has not responded kindly to the judgment.

Unfortunately, Wilkerson’s case is just one in a long, continuous narrative. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. Yet, more than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on campuses do not report the assault—perhaps due to the fear that their report will not be taken seriously. 

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*First Published: Aug 11, 2016, 10:02 pm CDT