Ex-Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault loses appeal
A California appeals court ruled against Brock Turner, the former Stanford University swimmer whose sexual assault case drew national attention in 2016.
A jury found Turner guilty of assaulting an intoxicated and incapacitated woman outside a fraternity party. At his sentencing, the woman read a heartbreaking statement about the ordeal she experienced. The letter went viral after BuzzFeed News published it.
“The seriousness of rape has to be communicated clearly, we should not create a culture that suggests we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error,” the victim said as part of her statement.
Turner could have served up to 14 years in state prison for his conviction. Judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to six months in county jail plus probation. The judge stated he believed a lengthy sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner, once a promising swimmer. Turner ended up being released from jail after serving just three months of his six-month sentence.
“Turner deserves to face serious consequences for the crime he committed,” says Strong Advocates Executive Director, Betsy Havens. “Those consequences should be evenly applied, despite Turner’s race, social status, and swimming hobbies. I do not believe that three months jail time is a fair punishment for this crime.”
The case sparked outrage across the country due to what people perceived to be a lenient punishment. California voters recalled Persky this summer.
Turner’s appeal sought a new trial. A three-judge panel rejected his argument.
Pending additional appeals, Turner must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.