California Expands Punishment for Rape After Brown Signs Bills Inspired by Brock Turner Case

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Brock Turner is seen in his photo posted to the Ohio Sex Offender Registry on Sept. 6, 2016.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed legislation that expands the legal definition of rape and imposes new mandatory minimum sentences on some sexual assault offenders, measures inspired amid national outcry over the sexual assault case of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner.

The decision comes as heated debate has raged this year over the mishandling of sexual assault investigations on U.S. college campuses, police agencies and courts. But increasing punishment for sex offenders posed a challenge for Brown, as the state has been undertaking a broader effort to move away from a focus on prison sentences.

In a message released with his signature, Brown said he was generally opposed to adding more mandatory minimum sentences.

“Nevertheless, I am signing AB 2888, because I believe it brings a measure of parity to sentencing for criminal acts that are substantially similar,” he said.

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