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Brock Turner’s friend and guidance counselor apologize for their letters of character

But is it too little too late?


Lyz Lenz


Posted on Jun 13, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 3:10 pm CDT

On June 8, Leslie Rasmussen, a former childhood friend of Brock Turner’s, apologized on Facebook for writing a positive character reference for his sentencing.

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After her character letter to the judge was released to The Cut last week, Rasmussen, who is a musician for the band Good English, said her band was dropped from music festivals and venues.

Rasmussen’s court letter of support for Turner blamed the victim for the rape, noting: 

I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him. I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right. But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists. 

Comments on Rasmussen’s Facebook post are largely supportive of her apology, with some noting that the backlash is all a “witch hunt” and lamenting that Rasmussen has suffered professionally as a result of her support.  On Twitter, the response has been less sympathetic.

There were at least 39 letters of support written for Turner. And many of those letter-writers are also receiving backlash for their actions. Oakwood Municipal Court Judge Margaret M. Quinn told the Dayton Daily News that she has received death threats in response to her letter of support for Turner. And Kelly Owens, Turner’s guidance counselor, issued an apology for writing a letter of support to the judge. Owens had written to tell the judge that Turner was “undeserving of the outcome” of the trial.

Owens has since written to the school district apologizing for the letter, explaining, “In the statement I submitted to the judge during the criminal proceedings and before sentencing referencing Brock’s character, I made a mistake. Of course, he should be held accountable. I pray for the victim, her family and all those affected by this horrible event. I am truly sorry for the additional pain my statement has caused. I tell my students they have to be accountable, and Brock is no exception.”

Many have been outraged over Turner lenient six-month sentence—which he is now expected to only serve three months of. 

H/T The Cut

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*First Published: Jun 13, 2016, 12:51 pm CDT