California’s attorney general responded to Brock Turner’s appeal effort in a filing made public Monday, arguing the Ohio sex offender was not deprived of due process or victim to prosecutorial misconduct during his 2016 trial.
In the 95-page court brief reviewed by the Dayton Daily News, the state’s attorney said Turner’s “claims of error all lack merit” and “could not — separately or together — infringe” on the Oakwood High School graduate’s legal rights.
Turner’s new attorney, Eric Multhaup, filed a 172-page appeal in December seeking to clear his client of a conviction stemming from the January 2015 assault of a 22-year-old woman while Turner was a student and swimmer at Stanford University.
The appeal argued Turner was deprived of due process and alleged prosecutorial misconduct — in part by the use of the word “dumpster” in describing the location of the assault — as reasons he should receive a new trial. Multhaup did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
A jury found Turner guilty on three felony counts: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an unconscious person. Turner was sentenced by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky to six months in jail, but served three months of the sentence.
The case — and Turner’s sentence — sparked a nationwide controversy and wide-ranging discussions about sexual assaults on college campuses.
The state argues there was “substantial evidence from which a rational jury could find appellant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of all three charges.”
“That evidence included testimony by two independent eyewitnesses who saw appellant ‘thrusting’ on top of the victim half-naked and as she lay unresponsive on the ground,” the state’s brief said.
Turner’s attorney argued his client “was deprived of due process, a fair trial, and his right to present a defense” when the judge restricted testimony from four individuals with Dayton-area ties: Turner’s friend, an ex-girlfriend and two swim coaches.
Multhaup argued the court erroneously restricted the testimony of the four “to the trait of sexual non-aggression relevant to his conduct at the time of the offense … and excluded it as to appellant’s honesty and veracity.”
California’s response disputes Multhaup’s claim, arguing Turner’s “reputation for veracity among those who knew and liked him in high school was not the primary, or even a relevant, issue in the case.”
Multhaup also claimed prosecutors “malevolently” used the phrase “behind-the-dumpster” to describe the location of the incident because it implied Turner wanted to shield the incident from view and because “it implied moral depravity, callousness, and culpability on the appellant’s part…”
The state again disputed Multhaup’s claim, arguing Turner himself said the encounter occurred behind a dumpster.
California Deputy Attorney General Alisha Carlile filed the state’s brief Friday in California’s 6th Appellate District Court.
An Oakwood native, Turner is serving a three-year probation. He now lives in Greene County and is a Tier III sex offender, according to Ohio’s sex offender registry. The designation means he is required to register with the county every 90 days.
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