An attorney for former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner claimed his client practiced “sexual outercourse” during an appeal following Turner’s conviction of attempted rape.
Turner’s appellate attorney said that Turner never intended to rape the woman, arguing he was instead engaged in “sexual outercourse,” a version of “safe sex.”
The attorney made the case, arguing the jury made “unreasonable inferences” leading to the conviction, in front of a three-justice panel on Tuesday in an appeals court in California, reported Dayton Daily News.
“The record lacks sufficient evidence to support the three convictions in this case,” attorney Erick Multhaup argued, saying the “sexual outercourse” argument referred to his client having his clothes on when he was caught on top of the victim.
He said that because Turner was fully clothed and his private parts weren’t exposed, the prosecution’s case fell short of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Turner intended to rape the woman, reported ABC.
“I absolutely don’t understand what you are talking about,” responded Justice Franklin D. Elia, adding that the law “requires the jury verdict to be honored.”
— Dayton Daily News (@daytondailynews) July 26, 2018
“Intent is rarely proved by direct evidence,” Elia added, reported The Mercury News, noting that it’s typically based on circumstantial evidence. “You can’t surgically remove things and look at them separately.”
Turner, 22, was found guilty in March 2016 of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person as well as penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person. The crimes took place outside a Stanford fraternity in January 2015.
Turner served three months in jail despite facing up to 14 years in prison. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner. He was recalled from the bench in June, reported USA Today. The sentencing also led to Governor Jerry Brown signing a bill that mandates tougher penalties for the crimes that Turner committed.
The appeal is Turner’s attempt for a new trial, which could lead to him not being designated a Tier III sex offender for life. California law required Turner to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life because of the convictions.
Deputy Attorney General Alisha Carlile also appeared in front of the panel, arguing that the conviction should stand.
The panel is expected to rule on the appeal within 90 days.