Childhood friend who wrote a letter defending the ex-Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault is in a band -- and now her shows are being canceled

Multiple venues have canceled indie band Good English’s shows as a result of the letter that its drummer Leslie Rasmussen wrote in support of the ex-Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault, The Gothamist reported.

Since high school, Rasmussen has been a close  friend of 20-year-old Brock Turner, who was found guilty of three felony counts for sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated woman in January 2015. Last Thursday, a judge sentenced Turner to six months in a county jail, which some have decried as a slap on the wrist

Prior to sentencing, Rasmussen wrote a character statement to Judge Aaron Persky defending Turner and partially blaming an insistence on political correctness for his conviction.

“I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him,” she wrote. “…. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgment.”

The letter drew ire from many who feel her words perpetuate rape culture. Now, four Brooklyn, New York venues, including one hosting the anticipated Northside Festival, set to host the band this weekend have canceled its shows.

Two of the venues explicitly made public statements about rape culture, according to The Gothamist. 


Since facing the public scrutiny, Rasmussen has issued a statement clarifying her words, and insisting they had been misconstrued.

“I understand that this appeal has now provided an opportunity for people to misconstrue my ideas into a distortion that suggests I sympathize with sex offenses and those who commit them or that I blame the victim involved,” the statement reads. “Nothing could be farther from the truth, and I apologise for anything my statement has done to suggest that I don’t feel enormous sympathy for the victim and her suffering.”

 Here’s Rasmussen’s original letter, in full:

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