Brock Turner, the former Stanford swimmer who served just three months in prison for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015, filed an appeal to overturn his conviction in December 2017. The hearing to overturn the court’s previous ruling began in July, with Turner’s lawyers claiming that their client only wanted “outercourse” when he assaulted his victim, Emily Doe.
ABC 7 News reported that Turner’s lawyer, Eric Multhaup, said he believed his client had no intention of raping Doe that night in 2015. Multhaup cited the fact that Turner had been fully clothed when witnesses found him and his victim, and he employed the bizarre term “sexual outercourse” to describe Turner’s actions.
According to NBC Bay Area, Multhaup defined “outercourse” as a “version of safe sex” that doesn’t involve vaginal intercourse. He cast doubt on the jury, claiming they “filled in the blanks” when they came to their initial guilty verdict, and also questioned whether the victim was drunk beyond the point of consent.
And thankfully, as of Wednesday, August 8th, the appeal has officially been denied.
The three appellate judges who heard Multhaup’s case had 90 days to make their decision, according to the Associated Press. But they reportedly found the attorney’s arguments questionable.
Deputy Attorney General Alisha Carlile referred to Multhaup’s argument as “a far-fetched version of events” that do not add up, given the rest of the facts in the case. The three-judge panel ruled there was “substantial evidence” that the original trial was fair.
The three-month prison sentence Turner received has been widely criticized for being far too lenient, with residents of Santa Clara County even voting in June to recall Judge Aaron Persky, the man who handed down the decision. In addition to his (absurdly short) prison sentence, Turner will be designated a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Turner’s initial case has already demonstrated how much privilege and leniency wealthy, white men receive in our justice system, and we’re glad to hear the court made the just and fair decision this time around. The suggestion that sexually assaulting an unwilling woman somehow isn’t a criminal offense because vaginal intercourse didn’t take place is absurd and offensive, and if this defense had gone through, it would have set a dangerous legal precedent.