Stanford rapist Brock Turner filed an appeal for his sexual assault conviction
You likely remember the name Brock Turner from the news last year. In 2015, Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a party. Both Turner and the victim, referred to as Jane Doe, attended Stanford University at the time. Turner faced up to 14 years in prison. Of his six-month sentence, he only served three months.
Now, Turner has filed an appeal to overturn his rape conviction. On Friday, December 1st, his legal team filed a 172-page appeal on his behalf. They are arguing that Turner’s trial was unfair and that the media attention around the case affected the outcome. The team hopes the court reverses their previous convictions, ultimately clearing his record.
Brock Turner’s case was upsetting and controversial for many reasons. In addition to his family and friends vouching for him, Turner wrote a statement to the judge blaming college drinking culture for his actions. The outpour of support from his influential parents and community could have influenced his initial lenient sentence.
We are still shocked by this case. Turner served just three months in jail. He was a star swimmer at an Ivy League school who comes from a powerful family. The judge who handled the case was a former Stanford student and athlete. There was too much working in Turner’s defense. And there was too much working against Jane Doe. Namely, that people have a hard time believing women.
In the appeal, Turner’s legal team is also arguing some of the facts. They claim Turner did not sexually assault Jane Doe “behind the dumpster,” but instead in a “completely open setting,” BuzzFeed News reports.
"What we are saying is that what happened is not a crime," John Tompkins, Turner's legal adviser, told NBC, according to BuzzFeed News. "It happened, but it was not anywhere close to a crime." Tompkins also described the trial as "a detailed and lengthy set of lies."
Though it is possible for Turner’s case to be reversed, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen believes the conviction will be upheld.
"Turner received a fair trial and was justly convicted. Nothing can ever roll back (the victim's) legacy of raising the world's awareness about sexual assault," Rosen said, according to NBC News.
Jane Doe helped spark a long overdue conversation about sexual assault on college campuses. Last year, Doe penned a powerful statement that was detailed and difficult to read, but also moving and full of hope. We hope that Brock Turner has to live with what he did forever. We know that Jane Doe will.
Believe women. Trust victims. Own your actions. And stop. Sexually. Assaulting. People.