Rape charges dropped against ex-Stanford swimmer

Published: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 @ 10:49 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 @ 3:42 PM


            Stanford student from Oakwood accused of sexual assault
Stanford student from Oakwood accused of sexual assault

This story is from Oct. 7, 2015. For the latest developments in the case, click here.

KEY POINTS in the criminal case against Brock Allen Turner, the former Stanford University and three-time All-American Oakwood High School swimmer accused of felony sex assault:

  • Preliminary hearing began Monday, Oct. 5
  • Police: Incident occurred near frat house Jan. 18
  • Police: Victim was half-naked, unconscious.
  • Charges include rape, sexual penetration
  • Turner is free on $150,000 bail

UPDATE @ 5:23 p.m. (Oct. 7)

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Two charges of rape have reportedly been dropped against Brock Turner, reports the Stanford Daily.

A preliminary hearing for Brock started Monday, and the day ended Tuesday with charges of rape of an intoxicated person and rape of an unconscious person being dropped. The other three charges still stand, the newspaper reported.

Turner again pleaded not guilty and will stand trial for the three remaining felony counts. A trial setting conference will take place on Oct. 20.

UPDATE @ 7:30 p.m. (Oct. 6): The Stanford Daily is reporting that a preliminary hearing in the case against Turner began Monday at the Palo Alto Courthouse and the judge has heard from the woman Turner is accused of raping.

Judge Aaron Persky also heard from a witness who was present the evening of the incident as well as from a grad student who police said intervened during the incident.

According to the Stanford Daily, the woman Turner is accused of raping gave a full recount of the afternoon and evening of the alleged assault, including what meals she consumed and what she wore at a party. Her testimony detailed a night that involved drinking and a period of unconsciousness, which ended with her waking up in a hospital and having a rape kit used on her to collect evidence.

The testimony of the second witness echoed that of Turner’s accuser. The witness and Turner’s accuser both recalled meeting together with their friends at the KA party that evening.

However, while Turner’s accuser did not remember meeting him, the witness recalled their interacting with Turner at the fraternity house.

Turner was in the courtroom with his defense attorney, Michael Armstrong.

UPDATE @6:45 p.m. (Feb. 3): Brock Turner’s U.S. Olympic dream would be over if he is found guilty of a felony or any sexually-related violation of USA Swimming’s code of conduct, the organization’s spokesman said.

Turner, 19, the Oakwood High School swimming standout accused of a sex crime on the campus of Stanford University, is back in Ohio before the next step in his court case, according to attorney Michael Armstrong. Turner, who was a freshman on the swim team, has withdrawn from the university and is not allowed on campus.

Scott Leightman, director of communications and public relations for USA Swimming, said Turner had let his USA Swimming membership lapse at the end of December 2014. He had been a USA Swimming member six years and did swim in the 2012 Olympic Trials, Leightman said. Turner did have some race times that met the standards to be included in the 2016 trials, if he were a member in good standing.

Leightman said college swimmers don’t always keep their membership current during the season and that they have plenty of time to renew them before the June 26-July 3 trials in Omaha, Neb.

“If an individual is found in violation of the USA Swimming code of conduct, that person is not eligible to be a member of USA Swimming,” Leightman said. “If you’re not a member, you’re ineligible to participate in USA Swimming-sanctioned competitions, up unto and including the Olympic trials.”

The U.S. Olympic swimming team is chosen based on results from the trials.

The organization’s code of conduct lists several violations that include sex-related misconduct. Leightman said that if Turner were to re-apply, he would be subject to a background check and that USA Swimming wouldn’t take any action right now because Turner is not a member. But if Turner was a member, he could be subject to discipline, including the termination of his membership.

UPDATE @ 10:45 p.m. (Feb. 2): Brock Allen Turner, the former Stanford swimmer and three-time All-American star from Oakwood High School, pleaded not guilty to five counts of sexual assault.

The New York Post, sfgate.com and other media reported that Turner entered his plea Monday morning in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Those same media are reporting that Turner was caught on top of an unconscious and half-naked woman outside a fraternity party both had attended.

Turner, 19, was not a fraternity member and the woman was not a Stanford student, according to those media sources.

According to court documents, Turner has acknowledged to investigators that he engaged in sexual activity with the woman. But he denied assaulting her, saying she participated in the contact and “seemed to enjoy the activity.”

He was in court with his father. Both declined comment. The judge denied a request from Turner’s attorney that Turner be excused from future court appearances because he is now living with his family in Ohio.

UPDATE @ 6:40 p.m. (Jan. 28): Brock Allen Turner isn’t just an All-American swimmer, he is an All-American kid, his former high school swim coach said.

That’s why the rape allegations against Turner at Stanford University are shocking to former Oakwood High School swim coach Jennifer Jervis.

“I can tell you nothing but good things. The boy’s like a son to me,” Jervis told the newspaper Wednesday during a phone interview from Oregon, where she now lives. “I’ve never known anything about him that wasn’t upstanding.”

Multiple published reports say Turner, 19, will be formally charged with five rape-related charges stemming from a Jan. 18 on-campus incident in which Turner is alleged to have sexually assaulted an intoxicated, unconscious woman after a party.

According to reports, two students on bicycles witnessed the attack and caught Turner as he tried to run away. A third person called police. Turner was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on Jan. 18 and released on $150,000 bail, according to reports.

Turner has been charged with 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. The alleged victim, who is not a Stanford student, was taken from an area near fraternity houses to a hospital for treatment.

“This is something that the University takes very seriously, and the University took immediate action,” Stanford University spokesperson Lisa Lapin told the San Jose Mercury News.

Turner’s attorney, Mike Armstrong of Palo Alto, declined to comment Wednesday. Efforts to reach Turner’s parents were unsuccessful, and multiple Oakwood High School administrators declined to comment.

Reports say Turner, who withdrew from the university on Tuesday and is not allowed on campus, could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on all counts. He will be arraigned Monday in Palo Alto, according to a Santa Clara County deputy district attorney.

Jervis said she has no knowledge of the case and hasn’t spoken to the Turner family, which she said is well-known in Oakwood. Jervis also said Turner was an excellent student and an excellent athlete.

“It’s very tragic and he’s a wonderful, wonderful young man,” Jervis said. “He’s an All-American kid. They are like family to me.”

Turner — 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds, according to an online bio that was later taken down — was a freshman swimmer at Stanford, according to reports. He set two state meet records and helped Oakwood High School’s boys swim team to back-to-back state titles in 2013 and 2014. He also swam in the 2012 Olympic trials.

“I’m pretty shocked by this whole thing, but I don’t know anything about it,” Jervis said. “I just know he’s a good boy and I believe that we have to maintain his innocence at this point.”

FIRST REPORT

Several California publications are reporting that a Stanford University freshman swimmer from Oakwood High School has been charged with felony sexual assault involving what university police said was an on-campus attack.

Brock Allen Turner, 19, withdrew from the school Tuesday and is charged with five felony counts that could mean a 10-year prison sentence, mercurynews.com, the online publication of the San Jose Mercury News, reported Tuesday night.

According to mercurynews.com, the incident involves an attack on an intoxicated, unconscious woman witnessed by two cyclists who apprehended Turner in the middle of the night as he tried to run away.

He was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on Jan. 18, shortly after the attack, on suspicion of attempted rape and penetration with a foreign object, both felonies. He has been released on $150,000 bail.

According to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci, Turner is charged on single counts of:

  • 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 is to be arraigned Monday in Palo Alto.

He could not be reached Tuesday and his attorney, Mike Armstrong of Palo Alto, declined comment to the mercurynews.com.

News Center 7 and whio.com left messages with Turner’s high school swim coach and the school’s athletic director in an attempt to get comments.

Tonight, university officials announced that Turner is not permitted to return to campus.

Mercurynews.com said The Stanford Daily, following up a story by a campus newsletter called The Fountain Hopper, reported Tuesday that an unnamed freshman varsity athlete who had been accused of attempted rape was no longer practicing with the team and that he was not living on campus. A university spokeswoman said Tuesday the victim was not a student.

Kianerci, the prosecutor, declined to reveal details about the victim. He described her only as “a woman attending an on-campus party.”

The attack happened after midnight on a Sunday morning, Kianerci said, near fraternity houses on university grounds . Two men riding bikes on campus saw an unconscious woman on the ground with a man on top of her.

The man ran away, but they chased him down and held him until police arrived, the prosecutor said.

Kianerci told sfgate.com the woman is recovering at a hospital.

Turner, a freshman, was a three-time All-American high school swimmer and state record-holder in two freestyle events, according to his Stanford team bio. He is 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighs 165 pounds, according to the bio.

He led the Oakwood team to state titles in 2013 and 2014.

According to mercurynews.com, Stanford students accused of sexual assault go through a special campus hearing process that can lead to their suspension or expulsion. Those who are charged by prosecutors may be removed from campus while their cases are pending.

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