Wilson’s case garnered national attention earlier this month after he was sentenced to over 12 years in prison after being charged with rape. The 23-year-old was also sentenced to a lifetime of probation and registered as a sex offender for the 2016 incident.
In a statement issued to VIBE, Kenya Cox, President of NAACP Kansas State Conference called the case and the sentencing “alarming,” given Wilson had no prior run-ins with police and the rape kit in the case clarified the parties did not engage in sexual intercourse.
“The case of Albert Wilson, the former University of Kansas student who was convicted of rape and faces 12 years in prison, calls into question the issue of disparity in sentencing across the United States,” the statement reads. The case has drawn many to revisit the Brock Turner case. The former Standford University student was sentenced to six months in jail (but only served three) in 2016 for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. While Turner was found guilty of three felony counts of sexual assault, he was given the benefit of the doubt throughout the case.
“Crimes should be punished, period. Courts must provide survivors the justice they deserve,” she added. “While the NAACP takes all allegations of sexual assault seriously, we are also mindful that the sentencing of those convicted of sexual assault, or any other crime, should be free of any racial bias. It is, therefore, alarming that Mr. Wilson, a black student, was sentenced to 12 years in prison and a lifetime of probation for the crime of rape, but Brock Turner – a white Stanford University swimmer – was sentenced to six months in prison for the same crime. Indeed, Brock Turner only served three months of his sentence. Both of these men were accused of rape, but studies from the United States Sentencing Commission show that Black men are sentenced to much longer sentences than white people for committing the exact same crime.”
Wilson was reportedly given the minimum sentencing guidelines for rape in Kanas by Judge Sally Pokorny. Critics have also pointed to the racial aspects of the case, including the all-white jury and reported racial questions that were asked to prospective black jurors.
“While many are pointing out the inconsistencies between the evidence and testimonies in the trial of Mr. Wilson, what is certain is that the trauma and detrimental effects caused by rape are color-blind to the survivor, punishment for the assailant should be color-blind as well,” Cox said.
Since Wilson’s sentence on April 3, celebrities like Meek Mill and Kim Kardashian have brought attention to Wilson’s case. “No forensic evidence that a rape even happened but the testimony from a white girl to a black kids word is a case closer by far in America!” the rapper tweeted. “Somebody help this kid that’s a shame!”
https://t.co/fky0a98ELT no forensic evidence that a rape even happened but the testimony from a white girl to a black kids word is a case closer by far in America! Somebody help this kid that’s a shame! @VanJones68
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) April 10, 2019
Read more about the case here.