CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual assault. If you would like to talk to a counsellor about rape, sexual assault or domestic violence, give the people over at 1800 RESPECT a call on 1800 737 732.


A member of Oakland indie band Good English has made a sort-of-retraction for a letter she wrote defending the character of Brock Turner, the convicted rapist from Stanford who was given only a 6 month sentence because of concerns about what prison would do to his future.

Turner’s sentencing has copped a whopping amount of criticism due to the shockingly short sentence and the incredibly fucked reasons given for it, which centred on his promising career as a swimmer. It was compounded by a letter from his Dad that seemed to suggest that he shouldn’t be convicted because he no longer enjoys eating steak.

Drummer Leslie Rasmussen came under fire for penning a letter to the court which was trying Turner, in which she claimed that he was not a rapist and that the whole affair was just a misunderstanding because they were both drunk:

“But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists? It is because these universities market themselves as the biggest party schools in the country. They encourage drinking.”

Suggesting this has anything at all to do with political correctness is fucking absurd. Blaming this on alcohol would almost make sense if she focused on Turner’s inebriation, but to blame both of them is heinous.

But it’s OK right? Because she retracted it? Well, no. She clarified that she was asked to write a character reference for the court’s consideration, of how  she found Turner to be before the ordeal – which is fair, and if she only knew him as a great, chirpy guy then it is her duty to write that.

But she also used the apology to double down on blaming drinking culture for the incident, which misses the point of the criticism entirely. I apologise if this is a bit rough, but: drinking has fuck all to do with it, no ordinary person goes from being a sweet, ordinary guy to undressing and sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on the ground behind a dumpster.

Here’s a snippet of her retraction:

“There is nothing more sad than the unnecessary, destructive and enormous toll that overuse, misuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs play in people’s lives, and I don’t think my effort to point this out in confidence to a judge while commenting on Brock Turner’s character, as the sober person I knew him to be, was an irresponsible or reckless decision.”

Good English were dropped from Northside Festival in Brooklyn after the letter was released to the press and complaints about the band were directed to festival management.

The backlash has probably been a bit strong but, man, that sure is a shitty opinion to put out surrounding such a sensitive issue.

Source: The Music Network.

Photo: Behind The Curtains Media.