Brock Turner to stand trial on sex-assault charges | News | Palo Alto Online |


Brock Turner to stand trial on sex-assault charges

Former Stanford swimmer faces three felony counts related to alleged sexual assault

Former Stanford University all-star swimmer Brock Turner will stand trial for three felony counts related to an alleged sexual assault that took place on the Stanford University campus, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge ruled at a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 6, in Palo Alto.

Judge Aaron Persky said there is adequate evidence to hold Turner for trial in the alleged assault of "Emily Doe" (The Weekly has changed the name of the victim to protect her privacy), which occurred Jan. 18 following a party at the Kappa Alpha (KA) fraternity.

Turner will face three counts: assault with the intent to commit rape, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. Turner pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a speedy trial.

Prosecutors dropped two other more serious charges, rape of an intoxicated person and rape of an unconscious person.

In a police report released in January, Turner denied the rape and other allegations, saying his "intentions were not to try to rape a girl without her consent."

Witnesses testified Tuesday that Emily, who is not a Stanford student, was unconscious for hours after Turner was discovered "thrusting" his hips on top of her. Emily testified during the first day of the two-day preliminary hearing on Tuesday.

Students, police, firefighters and paramedics were unable to revive her for more than four hours, even while she was at Valley Medical Center in San Jose.

"I was right by her face. She was lying on her back with her hands to the side. She was breathing. Her dress was pulled up and her legs were spread apart. There was no response at all," said Carl Fredrik Arndt, who was one of two graduate students who stopped the alleged assault.

Arndt and his friend, Peter Jonsson, were crossing the campus by bicycle when Jonsson saw Turner and the victim on the ground near KA. Jonsson testified on Monday that he confronted Turner after he noticed that "the person below wasn't moving at all."

Arndt said Turner got up when they approached him.

"Peter said to the man, 'What the f --- are you doing? She's f---ing unconscious.' Then the man started running," he said.

Jonsson chased Turner while Arndt tried to awaken the woman, but she never opened her eyes, he said. Then he went to help Jonsson detain Turner.

"Peter was lying on top of the guy (Turner). The guy was fighting back," Arndt said. "I sat on him with my knees. He said, 'Let me go. Let me go. I didn't do anything.'"

"I asked him, 'Do you think this is OK what you did?'" Arndt said.

Arndt went back to the woman when two other men approached him and asked what he and Jonsson were doing. Arndt took them to where Emily was lying. When the three got to Emily, another person was standing near her. Arndt explained what happened and asked that person to call the police.

Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey Paul Taylor of the Stanford Department of Public Safety was the first officer on the scene. The woman, he said Tuesday, was lying near an access road behind a Dumpster. Taylor checked her pulse, and she began to snore, but she remained unconscious, he said.

"I was yelling at her several times, loudly. 'Who are you? Are you OK?'" Taylor said, but she did not answer.

Taylor said when Emily was removed from the ambulance at Valley Medical Center, he noticed her hair was full of pine needles — so many that they made a trail on the emergency-room floor as she was taken from the ambulance to the hospital gurney.

At the hospital, he shook her shoulders, trying to wake her. Taylor shouted to her in a loud voice, a foot away from her face: "Please wake up. Can you help me understand who you are?" he recalled.

Emily finally came to at 4:15 a.m. Taylor and a Stanford administrator approached her and explained that she was suspected to be a victim of a sexual assault. She did not seem aware of what had happened, Taylor said.

In police custody, Turner told police that he had met the victim outside Kappa Alpha by the patio. They walked behind the Dumpster and were kissing and he removed her underwear.

Turner admitted that he had fondled and fingered the woman, and he claimed they were both enjoying the encounter, Stanford police detective Mike Kim testified. But Turner told Kim that he never took his pants off nor exposed himself.

A Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) nurse who examined the woman reported that the victim had abrasions on her chest, shoulder, buttocks, and mid and upper back, and a small abrasion to her genitals, Kim said.

Turner's attorney, Mike Armstrong, asked Kim if he had any other evidence that Turner had attempted to rape the victim. Kim said he did not.

Armstrong asked the court to drop the assault with intent to rape charge, arguing there was never any evidence that his client had removed his pants. He also asked the judge to combine the other charges, arguing that they were essentially two of the same counts when only one act allegedly took place.

But Persky let the charges stand.

Turner watched the proceedings but did not speak. His attorney entered his not guilty plea for him. When the hearing ended, Turner left the courtroom with his parents.

A trial setting conference will take place Oct. 20.

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24 people like this
Posted by Gunn Alum Mom
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 6, 2015 at 6:58 pm

I commend the heroic actions taken by Carl Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson to intervene on behalf of a young woman who needed assistance!

I have discussed this case with both of my college age kids to stress how incredibly VITAL it is to give and receive clear consent for ALL sexual interactions, and to be mindful that you and/or your partner may be too inebriated to give consent.

It is most essential that we have control over what happens with our own bodies.

14 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Oct 6, 2015 at 7:46 pm

The headline should read "The Rape Charges Were Dropped".
The DA knew that this was not a rape very early on - as soon as the SART tests came back at the hospital. We would have a better Justice System if DA's were more forthright with the truth - be more honest with the community and stop placing winning cases above Justice. Now we know that Turner was honest when he stated he did not rape Ms. Doe and of course it is quite possible that he was honest about the entire incident. Due Process needs to prevail. Two people will be significantly damaged by the incident for a long time regardless of the outcome and that is sad. Beyond that, I completely agree with the above comment made by Gunn Alum Mom.

4 people like this
Posted by totally cool etch
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 6, 2015 at 7:50 pm

[Post removed.]

7 people like this
Posted by Women Should Be More Reponsible with Themselves
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 9:20 pm

[Post removed.]

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