Former Stanford University student Brock Turner has filed an appeal to overturn his 2016 sexual assault conviction and request a new trial, according to multiple reports.
On Friday, Turner’s lawyers filed an appeal with California’s 6th District Court of Appeal, claiming their client’s 2016 trial was “fundamentally unfair,” according to CNN.
Palo Alto Weekly reported that Turner’s lawyer Eric Multhaup argued that his client was denied due process and that the jury was prejudiced against him.
According to CNN, one of the prejudices listed in the appeal centered around a statement the prosecutor made about the assault occurring “behind the dumpster,” which Turner’s lawyers argue carried a negative set of implications for Turner. In the appeal, the lawyers claim the assault did not occur behind a dumpster because the woman was found in a “completely open setting.”
CNN also reported that in the appeal, Turner’s lawyers claimed their client was denied a fair trial because witnesses who could speak to his good character were not permitted to testify.
Multhaup told CNN he had no further comment about “the unfairness of the conviction” beyond what was written in the appeal.
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In March 2016, Turner was found guilty of three felonies for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside an on-campus fraternity party last January.
During the trial, Turner admitted to having sexual contact with the woman, but maintained that it was consensual.
The case garnered national attention, and sparked outrage, when Judge Aaron Persky sentenced the Turner to six months in county jail – after prosecutors asked for six years – holding that a lengthy sentence would have a “severe impact” on him. However three months after Turner began his sentence, he was released from jail.
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“What we are saying is that what happened is not a crime,” John Tompkins, Turner’s legal adviser, told KNTV about the appeal. “It happened, but it was not anywhere close to a crime.”