Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexual assault on an unconscious woman back in 2015, has lost his appeal in a California court.
Outside a fraternity party at Stanford University – where he was a student – Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious and intoxicated woman.
In 2016 a jury found him guilty him of three charges: sexually assaulting an intoxicated victim, sexually assaulting an unconscious victim and attempting to rape her.
He was sentenced to six months in prison, but was released after just three months. His sentence also required him to register as a sex offender for life.
Turner’s sentence was met with a wave of criticism, as many people believed three months in prison was not adequate for his crimes.
Let me remind everyone Brock turner only got 3 months for trying to rape a girl. He also is a registered for the rest of his life. Although, i believe he should rot in jail. #Injustice
— squirt? (@AlbertoTheTruth) August 9, 2018
The case against Turner gained public support after the victim’s moving court statement was shared online, by Buzzfeed News.
The woman described how life had been for her since the attack, expressing just some of the questions she’d been asked.
Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating?
What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What color was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? [sic]
Okay, well, we’ll let Brock fill it in.
The case judge, Aaron Persky, was criticised for his leniency and removed from office by voters earlier this year, following a recall campaign.
The 22-year-old’s attorneys continued to fight his conviction though, they wanted Turner’s sexual assault and attempted rape charges overturned.
Eric Multhaup, one of Turner’s lawyers, claimed there were gaps in the series of events jurors had filled in, and stated there wasn’t sufficient evidence to convict him.
The attorneys said Turner’s trousers were on during the assault, meaning he could only be charged with ‘sexual outercourse’. As well as this, they argued there was no evidence to prove when the victim had fallen unconscious.
However, a California Court of Appeals stated the trial was fair and upheld turner’s convictions.
A statement released by the court on Wednesday (August 8) read:
Defendant argues none of his convictions is supported by sufficient evidence. That argument lacks merit.
Defendant argues the evidence was insufficient to prove he intended to rape Jane 1. We disagree.
At the time defendant met Jane 1, she was slurring her words. Within minutes of meeting, they left the crowded party together.
On the ground outside, away from other partygoers, defendant completely removed Jane 1’s underwear and pulled her dress up.
Turner was originally arrested in 2015 after two students witnessed his assault. They are said to have chased him and tackled him to the floor, and as a result, saw his face.
The statement continued:
During the 10 minutes the graduate students restrained him, he made little or no effort to explain or defend himself, despite having surmised that they suspected he had taken advantage of Jane 1.
The eyewitnesses identified the 22-year-old in court, confirming it was him they had seen assaulting the woman.
In response to the appeals claim that the attacker’s trousers stayed on, the court said:
While it is true that defendant did not expose himself, he was interrupted. Jurors reasonably could have inferred from the evidence described above that, if the graduate students had not stopped defendant, he would have exposed himself and raped [the victim].
According to the BBC, Turner could still petition the state’s supreme court for an appeal. For now though, the result means Turner will remain a registered sex offender.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111.