Former Stanford swimmer and convicted rapist Brock Turner has been banned from competing by USA Swimming, the governing body of professional swimming in the U.S.
Turner was convicted of raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster near the Stanford campus in California back in 2015. As a result of the decision, he will not be able to compete in any events sanctioned by USA Swimming.
Turner, who was an Olympic hopeful, now is completely blocked from competing in any future Olympic events. He was a star on Stanford’s swimming team and was expected to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
A USA Swimming spokesperson gave an exclusive interview to USA Today:
Brock Turner’s membership with USA Swimming expired at the end of the calendar year 2014…He was not a member at the time of his crime or since then. USA Swimming doesn’t have any jurisdiction over non-members.
Brock Turner is not a member of USA Swimming and, should he apply, he would not be eligible for membership. … Had he been a member, he would be subject to the USA Swimming Code of Conduct. USA Swimming strictly prohibits and has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct, with firm Code of Conduct policies in place, and severe penalties, including a permanent ban of membership, for those who violate our Code of Conduct.
News of the ban became public the same day a Facebook group campaign—titled “Brock Turner for Olympics 2016″—also went viral. As [Bustle.com] succinctly stated, “the group [is] a bastion of misogyny, full of juvenile sexism and insecure displays of masculinity,” with a number of rape apologist memes to boot.
The Facebook group has since been deleted.
In a widely-criticized letter Turner wrote to the judge, the former star swimmer said that it was “party culture” which led to his crime.
“I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk-taking behavior that I briefly experienced in my four months at school,” he wrote. “I’ve lost my chance to swim in the Olympics. I’ve lost my ability to obtain a Stanford degree. I’ve lost employment opportunity, my reputation and most of all, my life.”
In an even more widely-lambasted letter, Turner’s father pleaded with Judge Aaron Persky for leniency, claiming jail time for his son would be “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”
Countering Turner and his supporters’ narrative, 300 Stanford students, teachers, and alumni wrote a letter in support of the victim, saying that his good upbringing and lack of a criminal history should not be reasons to let him off easy.
“In fact, the opposite is true,” the letter said. “He should be treated more severely because in spite of having every advantage in life, he committed these horrible crimes against a totally defenseless person.”