A former Stanford University swimmer who was sentenced to six-month in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman was released Friday after serving half his term.
Brock Turner walked out of the main entrance of the Santa Clara County jail, passing hordes of reporters and photographers before getting into a white SUV.
The 21-year-old plans to return to his native Ohio to live with his parents. He must register as a sex offender for life and faces three years of supervised probation.
Turner’s case garnered international attention when a statement from the victim swept through social media, followed by anger and outcry around a sentence deemed too lenient. The case prompted California lawmakers to pass a tougher sexual assault law and led to an effort to remove Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky from the bench.
During the sentencing, which took place in June, Persky cited the “extraordinary circumstances” of Turner’s youth, his clean criminal record and other considerations. He followed the probation department’s recommendation for a “moderate” jail sentence.
Persky has voluntarily removed himself from hearing criminal cases, starting next week.
Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting the young woman near a trash bin after they drank heavily at a fraternity party in January 2015. Two passers-by witnessed the assault and tackled Turner before police arrived on scene.
He plans to appeal the conviction.