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Band dropped by fests over Stanford rape defence

Leslie Rasmussen, drummer for Ohio band Good English, wrote a letter vouching for Brock Turner, who was this week convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman

By IQ on 08 Jun 2016

Good English

Leslie Rasmussen (centre) with Good English

image © Good English

An Ohioan indie-rock band have been dropped from a number of upcoming shows after its drummer wrote a character reference for Stanford rapist Brock Turner.

Good English, comprising sisters Leslie, Elizabeth and Celia Rasmussen, will no longer play Northside Festival and Dayton Music, Art & Film Festival in Brooklyn or planned dates at New York venues The Rock Shop, the Industry City Distillery and Gold Sounds after Leslie – a childhood friend of Turner – wrote to the judge presiding over his case to say he is a “sweetheart” and that “I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next 10+ 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”.

Twenty-year-old Turner, a champion swimmer, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and three years of probation after being found guilty of raping an unconscious fellow Stanford University student, known as ‘Emily Doe’.

“Where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists?”

In the letter, obtained by New York Magazine’s The Cut, Rasmussen, who cites the amount of alcohol consumed by both victim and perpetrator as being responsible for the assault, writes:

“Where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists? It is because these universities market themselves as the biggest party schools in the country. They encourage drinking. I think it is disgusting and I am so sick of hearing that these young men are monsters when really, you are throwing barely 20-somethings into these camp-like university environments, supporting partying and then your mind is blown when things get out of hand.

“This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot. That is a rapist. These are not rapists. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgement.”

The band have since deactivated their website and Facebook and Soundcloud accounts.

In a tweet posted yesterday, Northside, which takes place in venues throughout Brooklyn from 6 to 12 June, announced that Good English would no longer be performing at the festival.

In a statement, the 100-capacity Bar Matchless (a Northside venue) said Bar Matchless said: “We do not support victim-blaming or rape apologists of any kind.”


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