U.S. Vice President Joe Biden penned an emotional open letter to the victim in the Stanford rape case saying he is “filled with furious anger” over the six-month sentence handed down to Brock Turner who was convicted of three counts of sexual assault.
“I do not know your name — but I know that a lot of people failed you that terrible January night and in the months that followed,” Biden said in a letter published by Buzzfeed.
“It must have been wrenching — to relive what he did to you all over again. But you did it anyway, in the hope that your strength might prevent this crime from happening to someone else. Your bravery is breathtaking.”
The decision by a California judge to give Turner a six-month jail sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in January 2015 has led to international outrage from critics who say the sentence for the star Stanford swimmer was too lenient.
READ MORE: Swedish ‘heroes’ who stopped Brock Turner’s attack speak out
Biden is among several high-profile people speaking out after the victim in the case read a powerful 12-page impact statement after the sentence was handed down explaining the devastating effect the assault had on her.
“I am in awe of your courage for speaking out — for so clearly naming the wrongs that were done to you and so passionately asserting your equal claim to human dignity,” Biden said.
“And I am filled with furious anger — both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth.”
Biden has spoken out about the prevalence of sexual assault on U.S. college campuses including at this year’s Academy Awards.
READ MORE: Stanford rape survivor pens powerful letter to attacker
He also has a stern message for Turner’s father who penned a letter pleading for leniency saying his son paid “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.”
“You will never be defined by what the defendant’s father callously termed “20 minutes of action. His son will be,” Biden said.
“I join your global chorus of supporters, because we can never say enough to survivors: I believe you. It is not your fault. What you endured is never, never, never, NEVER a woman’s fault.”
READ MORE: Potential jurors refuse to serve judge who sentenced Stanford rapist Brock Turner