Turner registered as expected in Greene County outside Dayton after being released last week from a jail in California, Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer said.
Turner is required to register as a sex offender for life, and had been expected to return to his family’s home in Greene County after his release Friday.
The 2015 assault drew national attention three months ago, when Turner was sentenced and the victim’s wrenching impact statement went viral. The brevity of Turner’s sentence — six months, with eligibility to be released after three — sparked outrage against the judge and controversy over how the justice system treats sexual assault survivors.
The assault and the sentence
Authorities say Turner, now 21, sexually assaulted a woman after both attended a fraternity party near Stanford in January 2015. A Santa Clara County jury earlier this year found Turner guilty of three felony counts: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.
In the victim impact letter she read in court before Turner’s sentencing, the woman described blacking out at the fraternity party and waking up in a hospital with pine needles in her hair, dried blood and bandages on the backs of her hands and elbows, her underwear missing.
She described finally learning what happened to her through news reports: how she was found unconscious behind a dumpster between two fraternity houses, her dress pulled over her shoulders, her bra pulled down, naked from the waist down. Two passers-by stopped when they saw Turner grinding against her unconscious body; he ran and they chased after him, pinning him to the ground until police showed up.
A prosecutor said Turner should get a six-year sentence in state prison, arguing that he lacked remorse and that his victim was especially vulnerable in her unconscious state.
But Judge Aaron Persky took a different tack when sentencing Turner in June, following the probation department’s recommendation of probation and county jail time, based on Turner’s lack of criminal history, his show of “sincere remorse” and the fact that alcohol was involved, impairing his judgment.
Outcry over Persky’s sentence, which was considered too lenient in the eyes of many, led to a campaign to recall Persky. At his request, Persky will no longer hear criminal cases after a transfer to the civil division by the end of September.
Supporters of the judge responded with their own campaign last week with a website called “Retain Judge Persky.”
What’s next for Turner
Like most offenders in California sentenced to county jail, Turner was released under a law that gives inmates credit for time served.
Turner’s picture, conviction information and street address is now publicly available on Ohio’s sex offender registry. Anyone living within 1,250 feet of Turner’s address will be notified with a postcard. He will not be allowed to live within 1,000 feet of schools or playgrounds, Sheriff Fischer said last week.
Turner must still complete three years of probation. He will enter a sex offender management program for at least one year and as long as three.
Such programs tend to consist of group counseling sessions led by psychologists focused on cognitive behavioral treatment. Typically, the goal is to address underlying anti-social behavior that leads to distorted ways of thinking about sex, relationships and empathy toward others.
As part of the program, Turner must submit to polygraph tests.
Additional requirements include notifying law enforcement of changes in his address, employment, education schedule, vehicles, telephone numbers, volunteer work and Internet access information such as user names and passwords for emails, websites and social networking sites.