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.
Turner ended up serving only three months of his sentence in a county jail thanks to good behaviour, having avoiding up to 14 years in a state prison after California judge Aaron Persky handed down the lenient sentence. Persky cited Turner’s swimming career as a reason to let him off easy, saying that anything harsher would have a “severe impact” on him.
The 22-year-old was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating a woman with a foreign object, and sexually penetrating an unconscious woman with a foreign object, convictions that will mean he remains on the sex offender registry permanently.
Now, however, his lawyers have launched a campaign to have those convictions overturned, filing a motion that calls his 2016 trial “a detailed and lengthy set of lies“.
Buzzfeed has obtained a copy of the motion, and say that Turner’s lawyers are arguing that the jury was not supplied sufficient evidence of Turner’s character. The legal team is also disputing the location of the assault, saying that it didn’t happen behind a dumpster at all, but in a “completely open setting“. They suggest that the jury were subject to “propaganda” that pushed the dumpster location.
Turner’s lawyers also told NBC News that they’re not disputing what happened. Rather:
What we are saying is that what happened is not a crime. It happened, but it was not anywhere close to a crime.
Exactly how the location of a rape changes its criminal status is beyond me, but it will be a matter for the California courts to settle. 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.
Wonderful time to be alive, folks. Truly great.