To the Editor-
I am writing today to convey how upset and disgusted I am with the legal outcome of the case against Forrest Thill.
On July 27th, 2016, the Stevens Point City Times published a short article in regards to the case. In that article it was noted that Thill received a year probation, a $50 fine, and must write a letter to the person he assaulted with the possibility that the third degree sexual assault charge will be dropped. What a joke of our legal system!
If someone comes forward and jumps through all the correct hoops that are necessary to report a sexual assault, they deserve to see justice work in their favor. The person who was assaulted went to the campus police and there was an investigation which resulted in Thill’s DNA being found on the person who reported. Obviously something happened and the person was harmed enough to file a formal report. Who do you think you are to be able to justify giving this assaulter a simple fine and apology letter?
I have worked on public college campuses for a few years now. I have served as a behavior conduct hearing officer for students who break laws and/or university policies. A $50 fine and an apology letter is less severe than what I have sanctioned students who were caught having one or two beers underage. I cannot believe someone who assaulted someone else has been sanctioned by our country’s legal system less than that. It is disgusting and it is shameful.
Time after time we hear about sexual assault perpetrators who get off easy for the horrific crime and abuse they have committed (see Brock Turner). What is your rationale for giving this man a “don’t do it again, but this time you’re okay” sentence? You have power. The people have trusted you to make difficult decisions and to protect the people who need it and you screwed us all over. People who experience sexual assault hardly come forward to report it; if judges like you continue to let their assaulter get away with it, people will stop coming forward.
I hope this letter hits home for you. I hope you see the err in your decision and understand all that the person who was assaulted has gone through, continues to go through, and will have to live with for the rest of their life. Lucky Thill gets to pay his fee, write his letter, and in a year forget this happened.