Brock Turner mugshot finally released

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Dad Of Ex-Stanford Swimmer Says Son Has Paid Price For Rape

Over the past couple of days, since the sentencing of Brock Allen Turner, a 20-year-old ex-Stanford student who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster last year, the Cut has received a number of emails and tweets asking why we didn't use Turner's mug shot as the original image in our writing on the case. That's because no mug shot had been released — until now.

Here's the backstory: Turner's case, and the authorities who booked and arrested him, was initially handled by the Stanford Department of Public Safety before being turned over to the Santa Clara Sheriff's Department. A spokesperson for the Stanford Department of Public Safety told the Cut that while anyone who is taken in for booking has their photo taken, it is up to the Santa Clara Sheriff's Department to decide whether or not to release the photo. (The same information was provided to Jezebel.)

SEE ALSO: Statement rapist's father penned sparks outrage

But that's not the full story. James Jensen, a public information officer for the Santa Clara Sheriff's Department, told the Cut that though the image is accessible within the county's network of police departments, it's the arresting agency's responsibility to decide whether or not to release the photo — in this case, that's the Stanford Department of Public Safety. The two departments seemed to be volleying the responsibility for releasing the mug shot back and forth. Around 4:30 p.m. today James Jensen of the Santa Clara Sheriff's Department finally emailed a mug shot to us — not the one from the day of Turner's arrest, but from the day of his sentencing. Here's the one taken the night of his arrest, provided to Boing Boing by the Stanford Department of Public Safety.

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Brock Turner mugshot finally released
Signage hangs near Oakwood High School in Oakwood, Ohio Thursday June 9, 2016. Anger and skepticism fill the streets of this wealthy suburban enclave following intense scrutiny of a six-month rape sentence handed down to Brock Turner, a former resident, a star swimmer for Stanford whose conviction ended his athletic career and cast a light on his background and the community he grew up in. Turner attended Oakwood High School. (AP Photo/Ann Sanner)
An exterior of Oakwood High School is seen in Oakwood, Ohio Thursday June 9, 2016. Anger and skepticism fill the streets of this wealthy suburban enclave following intense scrutiny of a six-month rape sentence handed down to Brock Turner, a former resident, a star swimmer for Stanford whose conviction ended his athletic career and cast a light on his background and the community he grew up in. Turner attended Oakwood High School. (AP Photo/Ann Sanner)
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Why is it important that the photo be released? Optics. Turner's name may be permanently marred by the crime, but he's granted a reprieve by only having images of him smiling in dress suits available to the public. Presenting him as a well-dressed college athlete instead of the convicted felon he is could also open the victim's statements up to unfair scrutiny.

And of course, the same mug-shot-hiding privilege would likely not be given to a person of color. As many Twitter users have pointed out, media outlets are much likelier to publish a mug shot and use the term rapist when talking about a black suspect rather than a white one.

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The images the media select matter. This man was found guilty and sentenced to jail, but still #NoMugShot. https://t.co/AjWAmAW8ap
This is how a convicted rapist was portrayed by @washingtonpost. Include his swimming creds, avoid the word "rape" https://t.co/sJj11s0hFE
For contrast, here's @washingtonpost coverage of other rapes. All three headlines use the word, use mugshots. https://t.co/AqBy8wgsNH
Prison would have "severe impact" on rapist Brock Turner. Wonder if non-white crim would get this pretty headshot https://t.co/bEZS16wQdP
My latest. Rapist Brock Turner & Judge Aaron Persky represent so much of what is wrong with our justice system. https://t.co/duPdasZCSU
That Brock Turner was arrested AND convicted of felony rape and we still don't have his mugshot yet? Just his Abercrombie & Fitch photos?
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