A California judge dismissed disgraced Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner’s appeal of his sexual assault conviction on Wednesday, concluding there’s “substantial evidence” to back up his crimes.
Turner filed the long-shot appeal last month, arguing his conviction should be thrown out because he only wanted to have “outercourse” when he sexually assaulted a woman after a college party in January 2015, citing the fact that he did not undress during the incident. Turner, 23, also argued he wasn’t aware his victim was unconscious and too drunk to give consent.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District in California didn’t buy that argument.
There’s “substantial evidence that defendant knew Jane 1 was unconscious at the time he sexually penetrated her with his finger,” the court wrote, referring to the victim by a pseudonym.
The court also stressed that Turner ran away from the scene when a couple of graduate students spotted him making thrusting motions on top of the half-naked, unconscious woman.
“When the graduate students confronted defendant, he ran,” the ruling reads. “He did not explain or defend himself to them. And he lied to police about running.”
Turner was found guilty on three counts of felony sexual assault in March 2016 over the incident.
He faced a maximum of 14 years behind bars, with prosecutors asking for at least six. But Judge Aaron Persky sentenced the registered sex offender to just six months for the assault, sparking national outrage.
Persky’s controversial decision resulted in his being removed from the bench this June — the first time in 86 years that California voters have recalled a judge.
In light of his appeal being thrown out, Turner will remain on the public sex offender registry for life.