Appellate court denies Brock Turner’s appeal

This Sept. 6, 2016, photo released by the Greene County Sheriff's Office shows former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner at the Greene County Sheriff's Office in Xenia, Ohio, where he officially registered as a sex offender.

A state appellate court today (Aug. 8) denied an appeal from Brock Turner, the former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault, upholding the jury’s verdict from 2016.

The three-judge panel of the 6th District Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that Brock Turner received a fair trial. Here’s a link to the court’s ruling today.

On July 24, Turner’s attorney, Eric Multhaup, argued there wasn’t enough factual evidence to convict Turner of three charges: assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person with a foreign object and sexual penetration of an unconscious person with a foreign object.

Multhaup said Turner was only engaged in “sexual outercourse,” or “safe sex,” and that he did not intend to rape the victim, Jane Doe, outside of a Stanford fraternity party on Jan. 18, 2015.

The appeals court said in its decision today that Multhaup’s argument “lacks merit.”

“The fact that defendant was engaging in a different sexual act at the time the encounter was interrupted (namely, ‘dry humping’) does not foreclose the inference that he intended, ultimately, to rape (the victim),” the court wrote.

The court also noted the condition of the victim after the assault: “Her dress was gathered around her waist and her buttocks and vagina were exposed. A pair of women’s underwear was on the ground next to her. One of her breasts was exposed.”

The court also said, “There also was substantial evidence that defendant should have known Jane (Doe) was too intoxicated to consent to sexual activity.”

Justices Frank Elia, Adrienne Grover and Wendy Clark Duffy handed down the decision.

Multhaup could not be reached for comment.

After a Santa Clara County jury convicted Turner in March 2016, Judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to six months in jail. Persky rejected a prosecutor’s demand for a lengthy prison term and instead went with a recommendation from the Probation Department for six months.

Persky’s sentence sparked nationwide outrage by those who felt it too lenient. It also led to debate over the criminal justice system’s handling of sexual assault victims.

Voters recalled Persky in June.

— Associated Press and Bay City News