Former Stanford swimmer pleads not guilty to rape charge

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 02, 2015 2:41 PM

By Michael Fleeman

(Reuters) - A former member of the Stanford University swim team pleaded not guilty on Monday to felony charges he raped a drunk and unconscious woman outside a campus fraternity house, prosecutors said.

Brock Allen Turner, 19, of Dayton, Ohio, was arrested at the prestigious Northern California university after he was spotted on top of a motionless woman outside the fraternity last month, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

The woman was unresponsive when police found her on the ground outside a Kappa Alpha fraternity party at the university early on Jan. 18. She did not become responsive until more than three hours later in the hospital, authorities have said.

The unusual arrest of a student on suspicion of raping a woman in public follows a number of high-profile sexual assault cases that have sparked a national discussion about how to prevent rapes at universities.

Turner told police he met the woman at the back of the fraternity house and they started kissing and drinking beer, then walked away and lay on the ground, according to the court papers cited by the District Attorney's Office.

Turner told police his "intentions were not to try and rape a girl without her consent" and that the woman seemed to be having a good time, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The woman told investigators she was drinking and the last thing she remembers was standing outside the house talking to some men, the District Attorney's Office said.

At Monday's hearing, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky approved a prosecution request for a protective order requiring Turner to stay at least 100 yards away from the woman for one year, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office said.

The judge also denied a request from Turner’s attorney, Michael Armstrong, that Turner not have to appear personally at some upcoming court appearances to avoid costs of traveling from Ohio.

Turner, who has withdrawn from Stanford, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The charges against him include rape, rape of an intoxicated person, rape of an unconscious person and assault.

Turner was ordered back to court March 30 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

(Reporting by Michael Fleeman in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech)