Sex Assault Bill Inspired by Brock Turner's Stanford Case Moves Forward in California

The bill now goes to the governor.

ByABC News
August 30, 2016, 5:02 PM

— -- After former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in jail with probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus, California lawmakers called it a "shockingly lenient sentence," and now a bill prompted by Turner's case is heading to California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Turner was found guilty in March of three felony charges: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.

The assault -- digital penetration -- was stopped by two men on bicycles who noticed that the victim wasn't moving, authorities said. Turner fled, but the witnesses tackled him and held him until police arrived, according to the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office.

Turner was sentenced June 2 to six months in Santa Clara County Jail by Judge Aaron Persky. He was facing up to 14 years and prosecutors asked for six years, but the judge sentenced Turner to six months, as recommended by the probation department.

While Turner, now 21, is expected to be released Friday after serving half of his sentence, a bill inspired by Turner's case passed the state Assembly on Monday with a final vote of 77-1.

The bill, AB 2888, aims to ensure that anyone in California convicted of sex assault can't be sentenced to probation.

Evan Low, one of the assemblymembers who introduced the bill, said in a statement on Monday that Persky’s ruling in Turner's case "was unjustifiable and morally wrong, however, under current state law it was within his discretion. Current law actually incentives rapists to get their victims intoxicated before assaulting them," Low said.

Under the current law, according to the assemblymembers, not all sex assault involving penetration are on the list of offenses that force a denial of probation.

The current law states that "a defendant’s use of force triggers a mandatory prison sentence," the assemblymembers said in a joint statement. "However, when a victim is unconscious or severely intoxicated, the victim is unable to resist, and the perpetrator does not have to use force."

"For example, a perpetrator at a college party who chooses to forcibly rape a conscious victim will go to prison. However, a different perpetrator at the same party who chooses to watch and wait for a victim to pass out from intoxication before sexually assaulting her may get probation," the statement added.

"Rape is rape, and rapists like Brock Turner shouldn’t be let off with a slap on the wrist,” Low said. "While we can’t go back and change what happened, we can make sure it never happens again.”

The bill now goes to the governor and he has until Sep. 30 to either the sign the bill into law or veto the bill.

Turner's family and attorneys declined to comment to ABC News.