After Scott Montgomery Bennett, a former keyboardist for the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman in an Oklahoma hotel hallway, the victim publicly identified herself at a press conference Wednesday.
"It is my goal to provide a voice for victims who feel silenced," Shelby Pfeffer said in a statement provided to BuzzFeed News.
Pfeffer said her rapist's sentence was "just" but acknowledged the "unreasonably light sentence" given to former Stanford student Brock Allen Turner, who was sentenced to six months in prison for sexually assaulting an unconscious, half-naked woman behind a dumpster.
"Recently we have all heard of a young woman who was gruesomely sexually assaulted and her abuser was given an unreasonably light sentence based on age, risk, and being a first time offender," Pfeffer said in her statement. "My heart aches for the victim of this case and for her loved ones."
Referring to the powerful letter the Stanford victim — who chose to remain anonymous — read out to her attacker, Pfeffer said, "The words in her statement rang so true to me and have stuck with me since reading them."
Bennett, 51, was convicted of rape by instrumentation and sexual battery in April. He was sentenced to five years in prison and forced to register as a sex offender on Tuesday, the Tulsa World reported.
On Dec. 5, 2014, Pfeffer had gone to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa to celebrate a friend's birthday and her own job promotion.
When she was intoxicated, she encountered Bennett — whom she had never met — in an elevator. In hotel surveillance video shown during the trial, Bennett was seen groping Pfeffer in the elevator and preventing her from leaving. The video then showed Pfeffer falling on the floor in the hallway, while Bennett proceeded to sexually assault her.
He then took her to his hotel room where he "also victimized her," Pfeffer's attorney, Gloria Allred, said in a statement Wednesday.
The video showed Bennett taking Pfeffer to another floor and leaving her in the hallway. He then returned to place her boots and purse besides her as she lay unconscious on the floor in the hallway.
The judge ruled that the surveillance video would not be publicly released until Bennett's motion for a new trial was heard on July 5, the Associated Press reported.
"The trial has loomed overhead like a dark cloud. Not a day has gone by that I have not thought about what has happened to me and the effect it has also had on my loved ones," Pfeffer said in her statement. "I have waited for the day I would receive justice and I have gathered every ounce of strength I had in me to fight, not only for myself but for other young women as well.
"I now understand why victims of sexual assault find it difficult to come forward and press charges against their abusers, and I understand why victims wish to remain anonymous."
Pfeffer said the trial was "the most challenging event" she had ever faced, adding that her character had been attacked and she had been "further victimized."
She said that she appreciated that the judge followed the jury's recommended sentence and that she felt it was a just sentence.
"No amount of jail time, probation, or registration will ease my pain, yet I feel after yesterday's sentencing I can finally begin the healing process and start to put this behind me," Pfeffer said.
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.