An appeals court on Wednesday rejected Brock Turner’s bid for a new trial, upholding his sexual assault and attempted rape convictions.
Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a 2015 Stanford frat party in 2016 and on Wednesday a three-judge panel of the 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose, California ruled there was “substantial evidence” that he did receive a fair trial, the Associated Press reported.
A day earlier, Turner’s lawyer Eric Malthaup said Turner’s attempted rape conviction should be overturned because he said that Turner never intended to rape the woman. The judges did not appear amused by the appeal attempt.
“I absolutely don’t understand what you are talking about,” Justice Franklin D. Elia said in reply to the appeal attempt. Assistant Attorney General Alisha Carlile claimed Multhaup had presented a “far-fetched version of events.”
Two Stanford international students from Sweden testified in 2016 that they witnessed then-Stanford athlete Turner sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at the frat party. Turner then tried to flee the scene as they approached him and the pair restrained him until police arrived.
After his conviction, Turner was sentenced to six months in jail followed by three years of probation in addition to being a registered sex offender for life. He served only half of his jail sentence. His sentence has been widely criticized as too lenient. The judge who sentenced Turner, Judge Aaron Persky, was recalled by voters in June.
Turner’s case received international attention after the victim publicly shared her impact statement, which she read in court to Turner before his conviction. The statement criticized the media portrayal of Turner and how she was questioned about her sexual activity and drinking habits.
“And then, at the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own sexual assault, the article listed his swimming times,” she said. Turner was on Stanford's swim team.
"Instead of taking time to heal, I was taking time to recall the night in excruciating detail, in order to prepare for the attorney's questions that would be invasive, aggressive and designed to steer me off course, to contradict myself, my sister, phrased in ways to manipulate my answers," she also wrote. "This was a game of strategy, as if I could be tricked out of my own worth."
Turner’s mugshot is pictured next to the definition of rape in the second edition textbook "Introduction to Criminal Justice: Systems, Diversity, and Change.”
[Photo: Getty Images]