On Wednesday, a jury found former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated young woman outside a fraternity house.
20-year-old Turner was arrested Jan. 18, 2015, after two graduate students found him on top of an unmoving woman outside Kappa Alpha fraternity at approximately 1 a.m. Turner subsequently withdrew from Stanford and was charged with five felony counts, later reduced to three: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and sexual penetration of an unconscious person.
Turner has been convicted on all counts. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and will now have to register as a sex offender.
His sentencing is scheduled for June 2.
Turner’s trial began two weeks ago at the Palo Alto Courthouse and concluded this Monday. The jury, which included four women and eight men, deliberated for two days.
Throughout the trial, Turner’s defense maintained his complete innocence. Turner testified last Wednesday that the woman, a 23-year-old Palo Alto resident who did not attend Stanford, consented to all of his sexual activity with her on Jan. 18. He claimed that she was conscious and eager while he kissed her, “dry-humped” her on the ground next to a trash can and penetrated her with a finger.
But the woman herself said she has no memory of the event. When police arrived on the scene, they found her unresponsive and half-naked, with her underwear beside her; she did not regain consciousness until hours later, in the hospital. Her blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time has been estimated at three times the legal driving limit. Turner was also intoxicated at the time, with a BAC two times the legal limit.
The defense argued that the woman could have consented but retained no memory of events due an alcoholic “blackout.” Turner’s attorney also emphasized Turner’s seemingly upstanding record, bringing forth character witnesses to attest to his moral integrity.
But in her closing arguments this Monday, prosecutor Alaleh Kianerci urged jurors to look past appearances.
“Turner may not look like a rapist, but he is the … face of campus sexual assault,” she said.
Contact Hannah Knowles at hknowles ‘at’ stanford.edu