STANFORD (KPIX 5) — A campus crime scene is now a place to honor the victim.
Beneath tall redwood trees on the Stanford University campus is a stone sitting area with benches and a fountain.
But the peaceful setting commemorates a terrible event.
Stanford law professor Michele Dauber says this is the exact spot where an unconscious student, Emily Doe, was sexually assaulted by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner during a party at the Kappa Alpha house in 2015.
Dauber — who does not speak for the university — pushed Stanford University to create the memorial, with the blessing of the victim.
“I wanted Stanford to do this because I wanted there to be a permanent symbol and reminder for how important it is to take sexual assault seriously,” Dauber said.
Dumpsters that were nearby have been moved.
“We’re very close to the back door of the fraternity house,” Dauber said.
Turner was convicted of sexual assault, but was given only a six-month sentence by Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky. The light punishment made Persky the target of a recall effort, which is on-going.
The issue is apparently still very sensitive with some Stanford students.
One student agreed to be interviewed by KPIX 5, but then other students stepped in to tell him not to do the interview.
“We’re not supposed to be talking about this…Because we’re affiliated with the university and we’re not supposed to talk about this. And it’s none of your business why else,” another student told KPIX 5.
Only about half the students who would talk knew the significance of the memorial, mainly because it is still awaiting a placard, which will bear a quote from the victim.
One student who said the Turner case was a big part of frosh orientation, praised Stanford for building something which will start a conversation.
Student Hannah Young said, “While its a horrible and tragic event, I think it’s important they do the right thing about it and that we can move forward learning from that and make sure it doesn’t happen again and I think this is a great symbol of that effort.”