Former Stanford student Brock Turner, whose six month sentence for rape a year ago outraged many around the world, has launched an appeal against his conviction.
In the 172-page appeal filed Friday in Mill Valley, California, Brock Turner's legal team said the initial trial was "a detailed and lengthy set of lies" and asked for a new trial.
Brock Turner, the Stanford University student who sexually assaulted a drunk woman behind a dumpster in January 2015 and was sent to prison for the laughable sentence of six months, is back in court - this time, attempting to have his sexual assault convictions overturned. In the appeal, the lawyers claim the assault did not occur behind a dumpster because the woman was found in a "completely open setting".
Turner was found guilty in March 2016 on three counts: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person. The brief states the graduate students approached the site from the basketball court, meaning Doe and Turner were not obscured.
"The cumulative effect of this misleading course of conduct deprived appellant of a fair trial".
In the appeal, Turner's legal team claims they were at a disadvantage on three fronts: The jury did not get a lot of evidence that represented Turner's character; The jury was not allowed to consider a lesser offense; The jury was subjected to "extensive "behind-the-dumpster" propaganda". That question related to whether digital penetration had occurred.
Judge Aaron Persky, who handed down the sentence citing Turner's age, remorse and lack of criminal record, is now fighting an attempt by 50 Californians to recall him from the bench. It's a risky move for the former swimmer in that the new judge would be under enormous political pressure to sentence him to state prison if he is convicted a second time.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said he believed Turner's conviction would be upheld. Judge Persky, meanwhile, has already been removed from another sexual assault case after it was revealed that Turner was not the first athlete he'd gone easy on.
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The Standford student was found guilty of sexual assault past year after he was accused of attacking a woman behind a dumpster while she was unconscious.