California Governor Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation into law that has been deemed the ‘Brock Turner’ law after Stanford swimmer Brock Turner’s 6-month rape sentence evoked national outrage. The legislation- which will become law on January 1st, 2017- will expand the legal definition with new mandatory minimum sentences on some sexual assault offenders.
In a message released with his signature, Governor Brown said he was generally opposed to adding more mandatory minimum sentences but that nevertheless he would sign the bill.
“I am signing AB 2888, because I believe it brings a measure of parity to sentencing for criminal acts that are substantially similar,” Brown said.
Under the current law, convicted rapists using additional force must serve prison time but offenders, like Turner, who are convicted of sexually assaulting someone who is unconscious or incapable of giving consent because of intoxication can alternatively receive a shorter sentence at a judge’s discretion. Assembly Bill 2888 will prohibit judges from giving convicted offenders probation when they sexually assault someone who is unconscious or intoxicated.
Rape has previously been defined as “an act of sexual intercourse” under certain conditions of force, duress or lack of consent. Other types of sexual assault, like penetration by a foreign object, were categorized as separate offenses. Assembly Bill 701 , will expand the legal definition of rape so it includes all forms of nonconsensual sexual assault.