The attorneys of Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on his campus in March of 2016, filed an appeal for a new trial this past Friday, December 1, 2017.
The 172-page brief, written by Turner’s attorneys, claims that he was denied a fair trial due to the exclusion of good character witness testimonies by the court as well as the prosecutor’s inaccurate telling to jurors that the assault occurred behind a dumpster in the midst of the trial. The appeal argues that the assault happened near a dumpster in an open setting, rather than behind one; by saying it happened behind the dumpster, Turner’s attorneys suggest that the prosecutor was attempting to state that Turner was trying to hide his actions, which “implies moral depravity, callousness, and culpability.”
The assault occurred in January of 2015, when witnesses found Turner atop a half-clothed, unconscious woman outside of a Stanford frat party. Over a year later, in March of 2016, Turner was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault, which included intent to rape and penetration of an intoxicated and unconscious person.
The case received national attention when Santa Clara County Superior Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to six months in prison. Many saw Turner’s punishment as too lenient, especially given that prosecutors were asking for a six-year prison sentence. Turner was released from prison on good behavior in September 2016 after serving only three months of his mandated jail time.
In a statement made on Friday, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen told Mercury News that he is confident Turner received a fair trial; consequently, his conviction will be upheld.