Appeals Court Upholds Brock Turner’s Conviction for Sexual Assault, Attempted Rape

An appeals court on Wednesday rejected Brock Turner’s bid for a new trial and upheld his conviction for sexual assault and attempted rape. The three-judge panel of the 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose determined that there was “substantial evidence” that the former Stanford University swimmer received a fair trial.

A jury in 2016 convicted Turner of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman beside a trash bin after a night of drinking at an on-campus frat party.

What ignited widespread outrage over the case was the sentence handed down by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, who rejected prosecutors’ demands for a years-long prison sentence by ordering Turner to a six-month jail stay—of which he served half—and a lifetime on the sex offender registry.

What vaulted the case vaulted into the national spotlight was the victim’s eloquent, excruciating account of the assault and how it affected her.

“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me,”then-22-year-old Emily Doe said in the 7,200-word statement to the court at Turner’s June 2016 sentencing hearing. She described waking up in the hospital the morning after the assault and finding out that she’d been found with her underwear pulled down and her dress hiked up, with pine needs and dirt in her vagina.

Emily Doe recounted the impact of the assault and the trial, how instead of taking time to heal, she was forced to relive that night over and over to defend herself from the defendant in court. “You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today,” she wrote in an account that became a manifesto of the #MeToo movement.

Persky lost his job over the Turner sentencing, the result of a high-profile recall campaign led by Stanford University law professor Michele Dauber, a family friend of the victim. Dauber, who has channeled the momentum from the campaign into continued political activism, applauded the court for rejecting Turner’s appeal this week.

“Unlike Judge Persky, the appellate court did not try to excuse Brock Turner's crimes or undermine the jury's verdict,” she said. “After spending two years listening Judge Persky's campaign misrepresent the record and blame the victim, it is rewarding to read a judicial opinion that contains an accurate depiction of who Brock Turner is and what he really did. These crimes are serious, and that is why the voters have spoken by voting Judge Persky out of office. Women are no longer going to accept elected officials who do not take sexual harassment and violence seriously. Enough is enough.”

Jennifer Wadsworth is the News Editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

2 Comments

  1. > The three-judge panel of the 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose determined that there was “substantial evidence” that the former Stanford University swimmer received a fair trial.

    Did the 6th District Court address the question of whether or not Michele Dauber and her bullhorn wielding surrogates exerted enough pressure, intimidation, and threats on Judge Persky to deny Brock Turner due process and a fair trial?

    No. They did not.

  2. Turner wanted a new trial in a county whose residents believe he got off way too lightly? The Appeals Court cut him a real break by denying his request. He could be looking at years in prison.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *