Brock Turner Was Never ‘Behind a Dumpster’ According to Appeal
Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer who was found guilty of sexual assault in California for an incident that occurred when he was nineteen, is appealing his conviction. Two fellow students at the university witnessed Turner behind a fraternity while riding past him on their bikes. He was on top of an unconscious woman, raping her. Turner turned to run, but was tackled by the bikers, who called authorities. He was arrested and charged with five felony counts, including rape of an intoxicated person, rape of an unconscious person, sexual penetration by a foreign object of an intoxicated woman, sexual penetration by a foreign object of an unconscious woman, and assault with intent to commit rape.
Turner was ultimately convicted of three of the five crimes – assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an unconscious person – the following year. Although he had been facing a maximum fourteen-year sentence, he was given only six months, which sparked fury in many followers of the case.
The former student was then released from jail on $150,000 bail for good behavior after serving a mere three months. Turner returned to his home state of Ohio and was forced to register as a sex offender. Case closed? Apparently not.
The athlete’s attorney, Eric Multhaup is now saying that the prosecutor in his client’s original trial incorrectly told jurors that the sexual assault had taken place behind a trash container. The assumption that the crime had been committed behind a dumpster supposedly prejudiced the jury, making them feel as if Turner had purposely wanted to conceal his behavior. This led to the assumption that he had committed a crime rather than simply an act that some would consider morally inappropriate. Multhaup says the incident actually took place in the open, and, therefore, his client should have the right to appeal.
Multhaup’s 172-page filing requests that his client’s conviction be overturned and that he receives a new trial, even though he could face the possibility of a longer sentence. Turner’s legal team also says they were at a disadvantage because jury did not get a lot of evidence that represented Turner’s character, members were not permitted to consider a lesser offense and they were subjected to “extensive ‘behind-the-dumpster’ propaganda.” In other words, a piece of the puzzle was introduced and embraced even though was not part of the facts of the case.
“What we are saying is that what happened is not a crime,” according to John Tompkins, Turner’s legal adviser, said. “It happened, but it was not anywhere close to a crime.”
“His life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life,” his father echoed.
Yet, most who have followed the case continue to ask themselves, What about Turner’s victim? Hasn’t she been through enough? She was unwillingly taken advantage of. Behind a dumpster or not, that fact doesn’t change.