Registered Sex Offender And Former Stanford Swimmer Brock Turner Appeals Sexual Assault Conviction

Greene County Sheriff's OfficeAP Images

Brock Turner, the ex-Stanford University swimmer turned registered sex offender made famous for receiving an appallingly short sentence after being convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside of a frat party, is making headlines again. This time, the disgraced 22-year-old former college athlete is appealing his June 2016 sexual assault conviction. In a 172-page brief filed by his legal team on December 1, Brock Turner’s lawyers called his trial for the January 2015 rape “a detailed and lengthy set of lies.”

As Us Weekly reports, the appeal brief also took aim at Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, who presided over the sexual assault trial and sentenced Brock Turner to just six months in jail (he was facing a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison after being convicted of three felonies, including sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object and assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman). In the brief, Brock Turner’s legal team blasted Persky for neglecting to “tell jurors to consider lesser criminal charges.”

In all, Turner served just three months of his six-month sentence before being released and relocating to his parents’ home in Ohio, where, as CNN reports, he registered as a sex offender in Greene County. As part of the terms of his conviction and abbreviated jail sentence, Brock Turner is required to remain on the sex offender registry for life. Turner originally announced his plan to appeal his conviction after being released from jail last year.

Brock Turner’s six-month jail sentence sparked outrage across America when it was announced in June 2016, particularly in the wake of a lengthy statement from his victim, known publicly as Emily Doe, which was read in court. According to the victim, she became aware of her sexual assault from the press after waking up at a local hospital. According to two eyewitnesses, they came upon Brock Turner sexually assaulting his drunk and unconscious victim outside a frat party near a dumpster in January 2015. The pair, both graduate students, testified that Turner attempted to run away when he realized he’d been caught, but they chased him down and detained him until police could respond to the scene of the crime.

Turner was ultimately arrested at the scene and charged with five sexual-assault-related felonies to which he pleaded not guilty. The former Stanford swimmer claimed that the sexual contact between himself and the unconscious Emily Doe was consensual — that they had “hooked up” at the frat party. He was later released after posting $150,000 bail.

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According to Emily Doe, who read her victim statement directly to Brock Turner in a California courtroom, the assault “has done irreversible damage” to her and her life.

According to the legal brief filed Friday by Brock Turner’s legal team as part of his appeal, Judge Aaron Persky “excluded testimony from character witnesses they believe would have helped exonerate their client, ” which they claim has factored into the convicted and registered sex offender’s decision to appeal. He and his lawyers are asking for a new trial.

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Despite Turner’s filed intent to appeal his conviction and remove the stigma of a lifetime as a registered sex offender, Santa Clara County prosecutor Jeff Rosen said Friday that Brock Turner “received a fair trial and was justly convicted.” What’s more, the district attorney added that he believes that the dishonored former athlete’s conviction will be upheld upon appeal.

“His conviction will be upheld. Nothing can ever roll back Emily Doe’s legacy of raising the world’s awareness about sexual assault.”

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