A former Stanford University swimmer who was found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a campus fraternity party, is to appeal his conviction.
Brock Turner’s case made headlines around the world, when the former Olympic hopeful was sentenced to just six months in prison despite a powerful written statement delivered by his victim in which which she outlined the impact the attack had on her.
Judge Aaron Persky said a longer sentence would have a “damaging” effect on his life, even though he was found guilty of three separate counts of sexual assault for the 2015 attack. He served just three months after being released early for good behaviour.
Lawyers for Turner, now 22, filed an appeal for the Ohio native, arguing his trial in March 2016 heard a “detailed and lengthy set of lies”. They hope to overturn the requirement for Turner to be on the register of sex offenders for life.
The details of the case sparked outrage after two Stanford graduate students testified they had spotted Turner thrusting himself into his unconscious victim. Both he and the woman had drunk heavily at a student party at the elite institution.
Turner maintained the woman was not unconscious but the victim said she had woken up hours after the attack with blood on her hands and no memory of meeting Turner or being taken to hospital.
His legal adviser John Tompkins said what happened was not a crime and the facts do not reflect the verdict.
After the first case, Turner’s victim waived her right to anonymity in the US and allowed her victim’s impact statement going viral after the conclusion of the case.
Writing for Glamour magazine after the case, the young woman who chose to be identified by the name Emily Doe said that after the sentnence she “felt embarrassed for trying, for being led to believe I had any influence.”
She added: “The violation of my body and my being added up to a few months out of his summer. I began to panic; I thought, this can’t be the best case scenario. If this case was meant to set the bar, the bar had been set on the floor.”
Turner served his sentence at the Santa Clara County jail and is currently on probation.
He dropped out of university after his arrest. His father then caused further outrage when he said his son had paid “a steep price for 20 minutes of action.”