An appeals court on Wednesday rejected former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner’s bid for a new trial and upheld his sexual assault and attempted rape convictions. The three-judge panel of the 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose ruled Wednesday that there was “substantial evidence” that Turner received a fair trial.
In 2016, a jury convicted Turner of sexually assaulting an intoxicated and unconscious woman outside an on-campus fraternity party. The case got national attention after the victim’s powerful statement, which she read in court before Turner was sentenced, was shared widely online. She recounted the assault, her treatment by investigators and the ordeal of facing questions about her sexual activity and drinking habits. It quickly went viral.
“Instead of taking time to heal, I was taking time to recall the night in excruciating detail, in order to prepare for the attorney’s questions that would be invasive, aggressive and designed to steer me off course, to contradict myself, my sister, phrased in ways to manipulate my answers,” she wrote. “This was a game of strategy, as if I could be tricked out of my own worth.”
The Associated Press doesn’t generally identify sexual abuse victims. Judge Aaron Persky rejected a prosecutor’s demand for a lengthy prison term and instead sentenced Turner to six months in jail. He was released from jail in September 2016 after serving three months. Persky’s sentence sparked nationwide outrage by those who felt it too lenient. Voters recalled Persky in June.