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Sexual Assault Victim Was 'In Shock' After Brock Turner Was Sentenced To Just Six Months
“Rape is not a punishment for getting drunk. And we have this really sick mindset in our culture, as if you deserve rape if you drink to excess," Chanel Miller said.
For years, the American public knew the woman who was sexually assaulted by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner simply as “Emily Doe.”
But, Turner’s victim is now revealing her real name—Chanel Miller—and speaking out about how she felt about the six-month sentence Turner received after being convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault.
“I was in shock,” Miller said in an interview on “60 Minutes” according to CBS News. “So you’re saying I just put aside a year and a half of my life so he could go to county jail for three months. There are young men, particularly young men of color, serving longer sentences for non-violent crimes, for having a teenie-weenie bit of marijuana in their pockets.”
Miller, who wrote a book about her ordeal titled “Know My Name,” also recounted the night she was assaulted. The night began as a way for Miller to spend time with her younger sister as the pair headed out to a Stanford fraternity party.
However, Miller—who didn’t attend the university and had already graduated from college—admits she had too much to drink and blacked out at some point during the night. She would later wake up in a hospital surrounded by police.
“All they said was that I had been found and that somebody had been arrested. And that he had been chased down because he had been acting hinky. “Hinky” was the word the detective used,” she said.
Miller would later find out more about that attack, while reading an article online at work.
“It was surreal having the news broken to me by the internet,” Miller said. “I was alone, sitting at my desk, surrounded by coworkers, reading about how I was stripped and then penetrated and discarded in a bed of pine needles behind a dumpster. And that’s how I figured out all of those elements. And they all added up. And I finally understood,” she said.
Miller also discovered that she had been sexually assaulted while she was unconscious and that Turner had only stopped because he was chased down by two other students who had been riding their bikes to the party when they stumbled across the unusual scene behind the dumpster.
“He was moving a lot,” Carl Arndt recalled on “60 Minutes.” “But we just saw her lying there completely still.”
Arndt and Peter Jonsson ran after Turner and tackled him—then went to check on Miller who they said was “completely unconscious.”
Miller called the intervention by the two Swedish grad students “a miracle.” She clung to the knowledge that even though one man had done something horrific to her, there were two others who did “the right thing,” which Miller said gave her hope through the ordeal.
“They changed the story,” she said. “They changed the entire trajectory of my life.”
Miller would go on to deliver a powerful victim impact statement in court that was published in its entirety on BuzzFeed News and quickly went viral.
“I’ve read dozens of these letters,” Alaleh Kianerci, the district attorney in the case, told The New York Times. “but hers was different. She had an incredible ability to describe in excruciating and vivid detail what victims go through.”
During her interview with “60 Minutes” she also addressed those who have criticized her for getting so drunk at a party that she blacked out.
“Rape is not a punishment for getting drunk,” she said. “And we have this really sick mindset in our culture, as if you deserve rape if you drink to excess. You deserve a hangover, a really bad hangover, but you don’t deserve to have somebody insert their body parts inside of you.”
By sharing her story—both in her victim impact statement and now in her new book—Miller has become a powerful voice advocating for victim’s rights.
While she had initially not wanted the sexual assault to be part of her life going forward, Miller now told The Times she understands the attack always be part of her story.
“Now it’s accepting that it will always be a part of my life, and I just figure out where it lives inside my life,” she said.