This Is Alaleh Kianerci; The Prosecutor Named Checked In The Brock Turner Stanford Rape Letter
The Debrief: In her brave and powerful statement, the victim of the Brock Turner rape case thanked 'Alaleh'. This is who she is.
Over the past few weeks, the world has been focussed on the actions of one Brock Turner, a 20 year old boy convicted of raping an unamed girl after a frat party at Stanford University.
Brock's sentence was laughable. 6 months because judge Aaron Persky worried anything longer would have a 'severe impact' on the once Olympic hopeful swimmner.
Brock will probably serve three months.
The case, which is by no means an isolated account, came to prominence in the international media after Brock Turner's victim wrote a powerful statement which was published on Buzzfeed at the beginning of June. In the letter, actually her statement to the court, the victim details the horrific incidents that she remembers from that night, her troubled mental state in the months since, her disdain for Turner's attitude towards her as a victim, her frustration as his wildly lenient sentence.
Towards the end of the letter, she starts to thank people who have been there for her during the past few months. The nurses, the detective who listened to her and 'never judged her', her friends and her therapist, her 'incredible' parents who taught her 'how to turn pain into strength', her grandma who 'snuck chocolate into the courtroom'. Then she thanks 'Alaleh' who she describes as 'my idol, who fought tirelessly and never doubted me.'
Who is Alaleh?
Alaleh Kianerci is the Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney attorney who fought to get Brock Turner prosecuted. She's been practising law since 2007 when she was admitted to the bar and, prior to that, she attended the University of California Santa Barbara and then the Santa Clara University of Law.
Throughout the process, Alaleh has been the mouthpiece through which the victim has spoke to the press. She has been bold and unwavering in her opinions about the trial, laudatory of the victim's efforts in court and outspoken in her demands that the discourse on sexual assault needs to change.
Here she is, just over a year ago when Brock Turner was charged with five felony sexual assault charges, way before his sentence was implemented.
'Rape is always a crime of violence.' She says. 'These kind of sexual assaults happen on campuses and and parties all across the country sadly they often go unreported or worse we are not able to complete on these cases.'
She continues, 'Luckily for the victim in this case there were two good samaritans who were in the right place at the right time and more importantly they did the right thing and thats the message that needs to be sent to the community. Don't just stand by if you see something inappropriate. If you see something, say something.'
Once the victim's letter went viral, Alaleh became the communicator between her and the press. Here she is speaking to CNN's Michael Holmes.
It was one of the most powerful and beautiful moments that I think I'll ever be part of as a prosecutor.' She said of the moment the victim read her statement in court. 'She was brave, she was courageous, she confronted him twice while testifying in this case but this time when she actually got to speak to him to address him directly to point her finger at him and tell him it's not ok to shrug his shoulders it's not OK to sexually violate her. It was incredibly powerful to be standing right beside her.'
'She has opened a door and really ignited a fire in the world community to address this issue in a new light.' She continued.
Alaleh was the one who shared her decision to remain anonymous with the world. The victim texted her and Alaleh read her text on several news shows. It read;
'I remain anonymous yes to protect my identity but as a statement that all these people are fighting for someone that they don't know. I don't need labels categories to prove I am worthy of respect to prove that I should be listened to. I'm coming to you simply as a woman watching to be heard. Yes there is plenty more that I'd like to tell you about me. For now, I am every woman.'
Alaleh is adamant that we need to change the rhetoric around rape and she is pleased that, whilst her victim has suffered huge trauma, the viral nature of the case and it's statements is certainly going to help going forward. 'I could not be more pleased that it has gone viral because number one it is opening the conversation to somethign that we really need to discuss. These kind of sexual assaults are something that happen all across the country and all across the world the people's reaciton to the victims letter is really promising that we're ready to change the discourse, that we're ready to change the dialogue that no more will be allow women to be victimised no more will we turn a blind eye.'
You might also be interested in:
Brock Turner Is A Reminder That It's 2016 And We Still Don't Understand Consent
Aaron Persky, The Judge Who Sentenced Brock Turner, Has Been Removed From New Sexual Assault Case
This Sexual Assault Victim's Brave Letter To Her Attacker Spells Out All That's Wrong With Rape Culture
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