USA Swimming Bans Stanford Rapist Brock Turner For Life

SOURCEThink Progress

When convicted Stanford rapist Brock Turner gets out of prison, he won’t have his swimming career to go back to.

USA Swimming, the governing body for the sport in the United States, told USA Today that Turner was not a member of the organization at the time of the assault, hasn’t been since, and would not be eligible for membership in the future.

This will come as sad news not only for Turner, but for the Brock Turner For Olympics Facebook page that gained over 200 followers before being deleted.

Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman and was sentenced to six months in jail last week. A jury found Turner guilty on three charges: assault with the intent to commit rape, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person.

The Stanford Rapist’s Father Offers An Impossibly Offensive Defense Of His Son

He was a star on Stanford’s Varsity swim team and was expected to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics this summer.

“Brock Turner’s membership with USA Swimming expired at the end of the calendar year 2014,” USA Swimming spokesman Scott Leightman told USA TODAY Sports in an email. “Had he been a member, he would be subject to the USA Swimming Code of Conduct. USA Swimming strictly prohibits and has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct, with firm Code of Conduct policies in place, and severe penalties, including a permanent ban of membership, for those who violate our Code of Conduct.”

Turner is not the only athlete to have been banned from USA Swimming, though he is the highest profile. In 2014, Olympic champion Michael Phelps was suspended for six months for violating the organization’s code of conduct after his drunk driving arrest.

The leniency of Turner’s sentence — which Judge Aaron Persky attributed to Turner’s young age, lack of criminal offenses, and inebriation at the time of the assault — sparked widespread outrage this week.

“There is less moral culpability attached to the defendant who is… intoxicated,” Persky said.

Turner also blamed drinking for the assault, and in a statement to the court during his trial, lamented all the ways his life had been negatively effected.

“I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk-taking behavior that I briefly experienced in my four months at school,” he said, as reported by the Guardian. “I’ve lost my chance to swim in the Olympics. I’ve lost my ability to obtain a Stanford degree. I’ve lost employment opportunity, my reputation and most of all, my life.”

Turner’s father also wrote a letter to the judge asking for leniency, because a harsh sentence would be “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”

However, 300 Stanford students, teachers, and alumni wrote a letter in support of the victim, countering the notion that Turner should be given leniency because of his good upbringing and lack of criminal history.

“In fact, the opposite is true,” they said. “He should be treated more severely because in spite of having every advantage in life, he committed these horrible crimes against a totally defenseless person.”

The letter Turner’s victim read in court, describing her memories that night and the fall-out since, has gone viral over the past week, earning a response from Vice President Joe Biden, among others, and dramatically increasing the amount of attention on the already high-profile case.


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Lindsay Gibbs Lindsay Gibbs is a Sports Reporter with Think Progress. She was most recently a Freelance Sports Writer, contributing regularly to Sports on Earth and Bleacher Report. Her writing has also appeared in VICE Sports, USA Today, Tennis Magazine,, The Cauldron, FanSided, and The Classical, among others. Lindsay is the author of the historical fiction novel, Titanic: The Tennis Story, and the co-founder of the tennis blog The Changeover. She attended NYU’s Tisch School of the arts, where she studied film and television production.