In California Attorney General takes up sex assault case

Joseph Macaluso, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County court, said Persky was prohibited from commenting on the case because Turner is appealing his conviction.

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Kamala Harris

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California Attorney General, Kamala Harris, also a U.S. Senate candidate has criticised a six-month jail sentence given to a former Stanford University swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

Harris, speaking to the press in the San Francisco Bay area, said she was concerned that the victim's voice was not heard at the trial.

"It was not respected, and she was not given dignity in the process", said Harris.

With the comments, Harris has become the most high-profile elected official in California to question the sentence for former Stanford student Brock Turner, 20, last week by a Santa Clara Superior Court judge.

Prosecutors had asked for a six-year prison term.

"When someone is facing a 14-year maximum sentence, which is what I believe was the exposure in this case, there has got to be extraordinarily mitigating facts to reduce it down to what I believe ended up being six months.

``Moreover, I don't know if the facts actually merit that kind of mitigation", Harris said.

Officials have said the judge, Aaron Persky, received death threats since imposing the sentence, even as he faces a possible recall effort led by a Stanford law professor.

Joseph Macaluso, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County court, said Persky was prohibited from commenting on the case because Turner is appealing his conviction.

Macaluso was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

In a news interview on Wednesday, one of the two students who intervened in the assault, Carl-Fredrik Arndt said that Turner did not seem drunk.

``I mean he could run, he could speak without slurring at all’, Arndt said.

The national uproar over the sentence, fueled in part by the victim's statement detailing the January 2015 assault in graphic terms and its repercussions on her life, is part of the growing outrage about rape on U.S. college campuses.

On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio posted a live video to his Facebook page of several people, including his wife, Chirlane McCray, and actress Cynthia Nixon, reading the letter the victim read in court addressing her attacker.

Actress Lena Dunham offered support for the victim on her Twitter page on Wednesday, posting a video about sexual assault.

The case also struck a nerve internationally.

Social media users in China have begun protesting Turner's sentence on the networking site Weibo, BuzzFeed reported on Thursday.

Weibo posts frequently include images of the women holding signs with messages of indignation.

"It is rape when she's unconscious, one sign reads, it is still rape when he is a good swimmer.

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