UPDATE 08/06/15 3:20pm AEST: Good English drummer Leslie Rasmussen has spoken out in an attempt to defend her comments regarding convicted rapist Brock Turner, saying she believed “Brock’s character was seriously affected by the alcohol he consumed”.
ORIGINAL STORY: Ohio band Good English have been booted from the lineup of Brooklyn’s Northside Festival after their drummer wrote a letter in support of convicted Stanford University rapist, Brock Allen Turner.
In a copy of her statement obtained by The Cut, Leslie Rasmussen (pictured above lying down) wrote that she grew up with Turner, a man who has been controversially sentenced to just 6 months jail for raping an unconscious 22-year-old woman behind a garbage bin after a frat party.
In the letter, Rasmussen calls the convicted rapist “a very close friend of [hers] for a few years in high school” and refers to him as a “good kid,” a “sweetheart,” and “not a monster”.
But that’s not the most controversial part. Rasmussen also goes on to state that she doesn’t believe that Turner or other campus rapists are actually “rapists” because it’s not like their victims are “getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot”.
“That is a rapist,” she explains. “These are not rapists. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgement.”
She also blames Turner’s charges on “political correctness”:
“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.”
In light of the letter’s contents, Northside festival has booted Rasmussen’s band from their event, and addressed the matter via Twitter:
Due to recent information brought to our attention, Good English is no longer playing Northside Festival.
— Northside Festival (@NorthsideFest) June 7, 2016
@charmingfoxes Good English is not playing our show, removed yesterday from lineup, zero tolerance for the act or the justifying of the act
— ICD (@drinkicd) June 7, 2016
Good English have also deleted their Facebook account in the wake of the scandal.
Turner’s case has been receiving huge media attention in the US, with his light sentence (6 months as opposed to the maximum 14 years) criticised as being too lenient for the crime he committed — a textbook example of college rape culture and how the legal system favours perpetrators over victims.
Rasmussen’s statement only serves to highlight the widespread mentality that college rape is somehow more tolerable than other types of rape, which is fundamentally ridiculous.
Meanwhile, on the day of Turner’s sentencing, his victim read the court a powerful statement about the devastating impact that the assault has had on her.
BuzzFeed recently published the statement, which has since gone viral after striking a huge chord with humans everywhere.
Read it here, and read Rasmussen’s letter in full, below.