A preliminary hearing for Brock Turner, who was accused of rape last winter, began on Monday at the Palo Alto Courthouse. The victim and another witness who was present the evening of the alleged rape testified in court, as well as one of the Stanford graduate students who intervened during the attack.
The incident in question occurred on the evening of Jan. 18 last school year, when Turner, a former member of Stanford’s Class of 2018 and men’s varsity swimming team, allegedly raped a young woman outside a party at the Kappa Alpha (KA) fraternity house.
The People of The State of California v. Brock Allen Turner was filed on Jan. 28. Turner pleaded not guilty last February to the five felony charges against him, including rape of an intoxicated person, rape of an unconscious person, sexual penetration of an intoxicated woman, sexual penetration of an unconscious woman and assault with intent to commit rape.
At Monday’s hearing, judge Aaron Persky of the Palo Alto Courthouse’s Department 89 first listened to the victim’s testimony, which included her full recount of the afternoon and evening of the alleged assault, including what meals she consumed and what she wore at the party. Her testimony detailed a night that involved drinking and a period of unconsciousness, which ended with her waking up in a hospital and having a rape kit used on her to collect evidence.
The testimony of the second witness echoed that of the victim. The witness and the victim both recalled meeting together with their friends at the KA party that evening. However, while the victim did not remember meeting Turner, the witness recalled their interacting with him at the fraternity house.
Turner was present in the courtroom with his defense attorney, Michael Armstrong.
The hearing continued on Tuesday and ended with two of the five counts against Turner being dropped: rape of an intoxicated person and rape of an unconscious person. The other three charges still stand.
Turner again pleaded not guilty and will stand trial for the three remaining felony counts. A trial setting conference will take place on Oct. 20.
Contact Rebecca Aydin at raydin ‘at’ stanford.edu.