A former Stanford University swimmer whose sexual assault of an incapacitated woman drew national headlines and widespread scorn lost his bid for a new trial, pushing him closer to having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Her victim impact statement four years ago went viral, sparking widespread outrage, inspiring millions of survivors, and changing the way many of us think about sexual assault. Now Emily Doe, the anonymous woman who in 2015 was sexually assaulted by then Stanford University student Brock Turner, is writing a memoir.
Viking Books, Doe’s publisher, said in a press release Wednesday Doe will “reclaim the story of her sexual assault.”
“Emily Doe’s experience illuminates a culture built to protect perpetrators and a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable,” said Viking editor-in-chief Andrea Schulz. “The book will introduce readers to the writer whose words have already changed their world and move them with its accounting of her courage and resilience.”
The memoir will be published in September.
Many people are familiar with the statistic: 1 in 5 U.S. women is raped at some point in their lives. But Doe put words to that experience, and implored us not to look away.
Her 12-page statement on the assault, which she read in court before Turner’s sentencing, was published in full by Buzzfeed on June 3, 2015. Within four days, it had been viewed 11 million times.
Parts of it were chillingly raw: “I learned that my ass and vagina were completely exposed outside, my breasts had been groped, fingers had been jabbed inside me along with pine needles and debris.” Other sections were painfully eloquent: “I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.”
Turner was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person. He faced up to 14 years in prison but was sentenced to six months in county jail. He served just three for “good behavior.”
Aaron Persky, the controversial judge who sentenced him, was recalled from office in June 2018 — becoming the first California jurist recalled from the bench in 86 years.
Turner filed an appeal in December 2017 seeking a new trial, arguing that the evidence presented didn’t support his convictions. In April, a three-judge panel of the 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose, California, ruled that his conviction had been fair.
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It’s said that Doe set the stage for #MeToo, helping to raise the profile of sexual assault survivors worldwide. While Doe could not have predicted the impact of her more than 7,000 words, it’s clear she didn’t only write them for herself.
“To girls everywhere, I am with you,” she wrote. “On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you.”
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