The court case sparked controversy when Brock Allen Turner, after being found guilty of sexually assaulting an intoxicated victim, sexually assaulting an unconscious victim and attempting to rape her, was sentenced to six months jail followed by three years' probation

By Ian Horswill


Posted on September 5, 2019

Chanel Miller was known only as Emily Doe when her 7,000-word victim impact statement was read out at the sexual assault trial of a student athlete from Stanford University, California.

The statement’s publication saw it go viral and Emily Doe has now revealed herself as 27-year-old Chanel Miller, who is writing a memoir Know My Name mainly about her assault and the trial. Chanel Miller has agreed to reveal her identity.

The court case sparked controversy when Brock Allen Turner, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting an intoxicated victim, sexually assaulting an unconscious victim and attempting to rape her, was sentenced to six months in jail followed by three years’ probation by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky on 2 June 2016. Additionally, 20-year-old Turner was registered as a sex offender and ordered to complete a state approved rehabilitation program for sex offenders. Judge Persky said a longer sentence – the maximum was 14 years jail – would have “a severe impact on him”.

Turner, a former star swimmer with national selection hopes, attacked Miller while she was lay unconscious on the ground outside a Stanford University fraternity house party. Two Stanford University international students from Sweden, cycling past, challenged Turner when they realised Miller, who was found partly dressed near a dumpster, was not moving.

Brock Turner has failed to have his conviction quashed and remains on the Sex Offenders Register. Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office

The victim impact statement by Miller, now a literature graduate, was later published by website Buzzfeed, and garnered 11 million views in four days. It was translated into several different languages and re-published by news sites around the world. It was read in full on TV by CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield and on the floor of the House of Representatives by members of Congress, who took turns reading sections.

A CBS 60 Minutes interview with Miller is scheduled to premiere on 22 September. Miller recorded a video reading her impact statement to promote the TV show.

In the victim impact statement, Miller said she only discovered what had happened to her scrolling through the news on her smartphone.

Miller started writing Know My Name in 2017, poring over court documents and transcripts she did not have access to during the trial. Her book has been expanded in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement and wider conversations about sexual assault.

Stanford University reportedly rejected Miller’s suggestion last year for a memorial plaque at the site of her assault, inscribed with a quotation from her, and she said she removed herself from the project. The college settled on: “I’m okay, everything’s okay.”

Aaron Persky, the judge in the case, was removed from office by voters last year and Miller’s statement also inspired changes in California state law on sexual assault.

Turner last year failed in an attempt to have his conviction overturned. He remains on the sex offenders register.