A California appellate court on Wednesday upheld Brock Turner’s conviction despite his attorney’s argument that his client wanted “outercourse” with his victim, not sexual intercourse.
Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer, is now required to register as a sex offender for life. The three-judge panel of the 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose determined that there was "substantial evidence" that Turner received a fair trial.
Turner was convicted in 2016 of sexually assaulting an intoxicated and unconscious woman outside an on-campus fraternity party.
He served three months in jail.
Judge Aaron Persky rejected a prosecutor's demand for a lengthy prison term and instead sentenced Turner to six months in jail. Persky's sentence sparked nationwide outrage by those who felt it too lenient.
"I absolutely don't understand what you are talking about"
Voters recalled Persky in June.
Eric S. Multhaup, Turner’s attorney, attracted renewed media attention when he argued that “outercourse” is sexual contact while clothed. He argued in June that “outercourse” is a form of “safe sex.”
Turner never intended to rape an unconscious woman, he said. The lawyer cited witness accounts that Turner was "violently thrusting but fully clothed" when two Swedish graduate students found him on top of a half-naked, intoxicated woman in 2015.
But at least one member of a three-justice appelate panel didn't buy the arguement.
"I absolutely don't understand what you are talking about," Justice Franklin D. Elia told the attorney.
Elia wrote Wednesday's decision and pointed out that Turner tried to run from two graduate students who confronted him assaulting the then-22-year-old woman.
The judge wrote that the victim was slurring her speech when she left a fraternity party with Turner and the graduate students testified the victim appeared unconscious when they showed up, chased Turner and held him down until police arrived. He denied running when questioned by police.
"He did not explain or defend himself to them," Elia wrote. "And he lied to police about running."
Turner could petition the California Supreme Court to consider his appeal. Turner's attorney Eric Multhaup didn't return a phone call Wednesday.
Fox News' Dom Calicchio and the Associated Press contributed to this report.