Widgets Magazine

Brock Turner appeals sexual assault conviction

Former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner is appealing his conviction of sexual assault.

His 172-page appeal demands a new trial and seeks to overturn the convictions requiring that Turner register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman outside a Kappa Alpha party in 2015.

Originally found guilty of three felony counts of sexual assault, Turner’s six-month sentence sparked public outrage and an ongoing campaign to recall the judge. Turner’s appeal brief contends, among other arguments, that Turner was denied a fair trial by a “failure to present constitutionally sufficient evidence as to any of the three counts of conviction.”

“What we are saying [is] that what happened is not a crime,” John Tompkins, Turner’s legal adviser, told NBC. “It happened, but it was not anywhere close to a crime.”

Two Stanford graduate students testified in Turner’s trial last March that they saw him on top of an unmoving woman and that, when confronted, he tried to flee. Turner was ultimately convicted of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and sexual penetration of an unconscious person.

Turner’s appeal brief argues that the prosecutor biased the jury by saying throughout the trial that the assault took place “behind a dumpster” rather than in the open space between dumpsters and a basketball court outside Kappa Alpha.

The prosecutor’s characterization “implied an intent on the appellant’s part to shield and sequester his activities,” the brief states, also citing negative associations with dumpsters such as filth and criminal activity.

The appeal criticizes the trial process for omitting consideration of a lighter offense for Turner and denying his legal team a chance to present evidence about his good character to the jury. The brief also states that Judge Aaron Persky ’84 A.M. ’85, now facing the recall effort, at one point didn’t respond satisfactorily to a “critical jury question.”

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen told the Mercury News Friday that “Brock Turner received a fair trial and was justly convicted.”

“His conviction will be upheld,” Rosen said. “Nothing can ever roll back Emily Doe’s legacy of raising the world’s awareness about sexual assault.”

Law professor Michele Dauber, a friend of Turner’s victim who is leading the recall movement against Persky, weighed in as well, calling the argument that Turner was deprived of justice “ridiculous.”

“The problem with this case wasn’t that Judge Persky was unfair to Brock Turner, it was that Judge Persky was unfair to the victim when he sentenced Turner to only a few months in county jail,” she said in a statement.


Contact Fangzhou Liu at fzliu96 ‘at’ stanford.edu. Contact Hannah Knowles at hknowles ‘at’ stanford.edu.


About Fangzhou Liu

Fangzhou Liu ’19 is an editor majoring in computer science and linguistics. Raised in Singapore, she still shares her compatriots’ interests in street food and freebies and your dad’s taste in music. Contact Fang with questions and job leads at fzliu96 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Hannah Knowles

Hannah Knowles is a junior from San Jose double-majoring in English and The Daily. Prior to managing the news section, she was desk editor for the University and Local beat.
  • CT14

    The fact that Brock and his lawyers don’t consider what he did to be a crime is despicable. If it’s not a crime, then Brock is free to repeat the activity.

    We have sex registries just for these purposes: when unrepentant rapists are returned to society, potential victims need to be warned.


    just an fyi… his P enis did not enter her vag. it was supposedly digital penetration based on exam…..

    in my book that’s not rape.

  • accept_the_pain

    Spoken like a true sexual predator.

  • Erp

    It is rape under the Federal definition and would have been reported as such by Stanford under the Clery act. Under California law it was not and he was not convicted of or even tried for rape but of the very similar crimes (as far as penalty) of sexual penetration of an unconscious person and sexual penetration of an intoxicated person (and also of assault with attempt to commit rape). I note that even a conviction of attempted rape would put him on the sex offender registry.


    yawn… 2 drunk punks making out in the back of a dumpster does not constitute rape. btw… rape exams do not actually prove there was even digital penetration. not rape.. and even digital penetration penetration is suspect. I call BS


    RAPE! not. most folks think of rape as intercourse.. that did not happen here at all. and even the digital penetration angle is suspect. 2 drunk morons. sorry not buying the rape allegation…at alll


    when you learn of the facts of the case… .you’ll see this is a complete witch hunt…. did digital penetration occur… MAYBE! rape not. present the facts before you pop off on nothing you know about

  • accept_the_pain

    Let’s see how you feel about this type of “making out” when it happens to YOUR daughter.


    don’t get intoxicated and make out behind a dumpster…. she’s as much of an idiot as he is.

    fact. – no rape occurred
    fact – digital penetration was alleged… rape exams are notorious inaccurate on proving digital penetration.

  • CT14

    Try again. Brock is a thrice-convicted felon. The only controversy was his ridiculously short sentence by a judge who commiserated with the criminal and not the victim.

    Oh, and for the record, digital penetration is sexual assault, and it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Perhaps you should review the facts, since you seem not to know them. Quibbling over “rape” vs. “sexual assault” doesn’t make you look like a good guy, and certainly doesn’t win you any points.


    it’s not rape so there goes your first argument. where’s the proof of digital penetration? rape exams are notoriously inaccurate at proving digital penetration.

    both were crap faced drunk… both were idiots…

    get your facts straight.

  • Cotton Mather

    He said that the digital penetration was consensual. She said… well, she couldn’t remember anything on account of the 4 vodka shots that she had at home before crashing the party and the alcohol that she consumed there.

    She was older and heavier than him, so he couldn’t have carried her there. Not in the inebriated condition that he was also in. He said that they were headed to his dorm room and decided to make out in public near the dumpster. She said…

  • Cotton Mather

    It was proven because he testified to doing it. He also testified that it was consensual, which makes it not sexual assault. There is no basis for believing only part of his testimony when it implicates him and disbelieving the other when it exonerates him.

  • CT14

    Three felony convictions. Beyond a reasonable doubt. Fact.

    Sure, it’s not legally called “rape” in California. He’s still a thrice convicted felon, so there goes your whole “they were both drunk so who knows” bullshit. Three felony convictions. Lifetime on the sexual offender list.

    Keep digging, rape apologist. You’ve got nothing but lies.


    first off rape was not proven and he was not convicted of rape via sexual intercourse. he was fully clothed.
    second the woman has a history of getting drunk and blacking out. He was drunk as a skunk…. nothing that happened that night was reliable.
    let’s talk about rape apologists shall we? Bill Clinton is a serial rapist starting back in Oxford where he never finished his Rhodes because of he raped a girl on campus, he raped Miss Arkansas and Juanita Broadderick… then he was getting BJs in the white house from an intern. while Hillary not only enabled his behavior but was complicit in it by trashing his victims. what were you doing about it? ah yes voting for him and his rape enabler companion Hillary. thanks for playing:)

  • CT14

    Funny boy.

    Can you name your logical fallacies, rape apologist?

    Thrice convicted felon. Sex offender registry for life. Fact.


    says the true rape apologist. thanks for playing:)