Stanford Rapist Brock Turner Loses Appeal

Brock Turner was convicted of sexual assault in 2016.
Brock Turner was convicted of sexual assault in 2016.

Brock Turner, the former Stanford University swimmer convicted on three counts of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015, lost his appeal Wednesday.

Turner’s case drew international attention in 2016 after Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced the former student to six months in county jail, and critics condemned the sentence as a wrist slap. Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber gathered nearly 100,000 signatures in support of a ballot measure to recall Persky, and in June he became the first California judge in 86 years to be voted out of office, with 60 percent of the vote against him.

The Turner case also prompted California lawmakers to expand the state’s definition of rape.

Meanwhile, Turner tried to overturn the convictions, arguing there was no evidence to support them.

In the appeal, the anonymous victim is identified as Jane Doe, although the world came to know her as Emily Doe during the sentencing hearing two years ago when she read aloud a letter she’d written to Turner describing the depths to which his crime had affected her.

According to court records, Doe was 22 and a recent college graduate on Jan. 17, 2015, when she attended a fraternity party at Stanford with her younger sister and friends and had been drinking. Evidence introduced during the appeal — including taxi receipts and phone recordings — showed that the sister and friends lost track of Doe after midnight and went home.

In the early hours of Jan. 18, 2015, two Stanford graduate students identified as Carl A. and Peter J. approached the frat party on bikes. In an unlit area between a basketball court and a wooden shed, they told the court, Peter J. saw someone on top of another person “thrusting in a sexual manner.” He asked, “Is everything all right here?” he told the court. The person on top, identified as Turner, who was then 19 and a Stanford freshman, stood up. Peter told the court that the woman on the ground seemed asleep, with her limbs spread out and her dress hiked up around her waist.

Peter yelled, “She’s unconscious!” and as Turner ran, Peter said he tackled the student and restrained him. He testified that Turner smiled.

In his appeal, Turner told the court he had been drinking at the party and had danced with Doe and kissed her. He said he invited her back to his dorm, and she accepted. Outside, he said, she fell, and pulled him down with her. They laughed about it and kissed again. He testified that she agreed that he could touch her sexually with his hand, which he did after removing her clothes.

Turner testified that Doe was “conscious and responsive to him the entire time” and that he “did not intend to rape her.”

In March 2016, Turner was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person.

A three-judge panel at the Sixth District Court of Appeal in San Jose unanimously upheld all three counts.

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SOURCE: Nanette Asimov 
SFGate