Former Stanford Swimmer Brock Turner Files to Appeal Sexual Assault Convictions

Brock Turner was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault in March 2016

The former Stanford University swimmer convicted last year of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a campus fraternity party is appealing. 

In the 172-page appeal filed Friday in Mill Valley, California, Brock Turner's legal team said the initial trial was "a detailed and lengthy set of lies" and asked for a new trial. Turner's team is also looking to overturn the convictions against him, which mandate he register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. 

Turner was convicted in March 2016 of three felony counts of sexual assault. A Standford student testified that on the night of the attack in January 2015 he found Turner behind a dumpster lying on top of the partially clothed victim, who police later determined was unconscious. 

Turner, who was a decorated swimmer at Stanford at the time, pleaded not guilty. 

The case gained national attention when Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to six months in jail after prosecutors recommended Turner receive a six-year sentence. Turner was released from county jail after serving three months. 

"What we are saying that what happened is not a crime," said John Tompkins, Turner's legal adviser. "It happened, but it was not anywhere close to a crime." 

Tompkins said the facts of the case do not reflect the verdict, which is why they are appealing. 

In the appeal, Turner's legal team claims they were at a disadvantage on three fronts: The jury did not get a lot of evidence that represented Turner's character; The jury was not allowed to consider a lesser offense; The jury was subjected to "extensive 'behind-the-dumpster' propaganda." 

Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, who is on a committee to recall the judge who sentenced Turner, said it's common for people to appeal. 

But in Turner's case, she thinks this is just a wasted attempt to retry the evidence. 

"The jury considered Mr. Turner's victim-blaming arguments and decisively rejected them," Dauber said. "The jury rejected those facts. It's not appropriate for the court of appeals to step in and retry those facts."

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