“He couldn’t violate it, he had his clothes” : the new defence lawyers of Brock Turner

They hope to cancel the sentence of their client in order to erase his criminal record and his name on the sex offender registry. On Tuesday, the lawyers of Brock Turner appeared before the judge during an appeal hearing, explaining once again that the former student had done nothing wrong. In 2016, Brock Turner, a student popular and star of swimming to its varsity team, was sentenced to only six months in prison for the sexual assault of a student alcoholic. He was released for good behavior after only three months of incarceration, leading to a wave of international indignation.

The events took place in January 2015. One evening, two Swedish students who were passing on the campus by bike were witnesses to the sexual assault committed on the girl unconscious. Brock Turner was then 19 years old. The jurors of the court of Santa Clara, California, decided a year later that the young man was guilty of assault with intent to commit a rape on a person who is intoxicated or unconscious, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.

“A new way to blame the victim”

But on Tuesday, his lawyers have once again called into question this version. Master Eric Multhaup said that his client was merely engaged at this time in “foreplay sex” with the victim and that he had never had the intention of raping her. To define the term “foreplay sex”, he said that it was “a version of conservative sex” that does not involve vaginal penetration. He then stated that at the time the two students have discovered the victim, Brock Turner was not naked and that his genitals were not exposed. It has also questioned the decision of the jurors at the time, believing that they had made their decision based on their “imagination” and “speculation”. And once again, he accused the victim and his level of blood alcohol concentration at the time of the attack, tells NBC. But the prosecutor responded to these arguments by recalling that multiple elements showed that Brock Turner had been the intention to violate the young woman. It has indeed taken her to a secluded area to enter first with his fingers. It was also pointed out that at the time, he had not denied the fact of having wanted to rape her before being interrupted. “He was convicted by a jury. His appeal is only an opportunity for him to blame the victim,” said Michele Dauber, a law professor at Stanford who has managed to cause the dismissal of the judge Persky, such as the low conviction against Brock Turner at the time had caused the beginning of his downfall.

Many believed that Brock Turner had received a low sentence due to his status as a star of the swimming team from Stanford university and his image of the model pupil. It was in effect up to 14 years in prison. At his trial, the 20 year old student has shown that little consideration against his victim, 23-year-old, lamenting that he lost his reputation, his place in the swimming team and its chances to be a graduate. According to him, his crime was the result of a too much consumption of alcohol and “promiscuity” in the u.s. Universities. “I want to make clear, now, that drinking and partying is not what controls your life as a student. I made a mistake, I drank too much, and my decisions have done wrong to a person. But this was not my intention”, he said at the time, quoted by “USA Today“.

The powerful words of the victim

The victim, elected in November 2016 woman of the year by the american edition of the magazine “Glamour”, had strong words against her rapist at the opening of the trial. She had read a letter, a poignant in which it was launched : “The damage on you is concrete – you have removed your title, your qualifications, your registration. The damage to me are internal, they are not, I carry them with me. Thou hast stolen my value, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my privacy, my trust, my own voice… until today.” “I remained there, staring at my body, and I decided that I wanted more. It terrified me, I didn’t know what he had inside, if I had been contaminated by something that had touched him. I wanted to remove my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital, with all the rest”, she added.

In December 2017 already, advocates of a student had announced to want to appeal the sentence of their client. They had then complained of a procedure unlawful and “fundamentally unjust” during his first trial. His advisor, John Tompkins, had explained on NBC that what his client had done “is not a crime”. “It happened, yes, but it has nothing to do with a crime,” he said, explaining that the trial had been a “continuity of lies”.

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