Brock Turner (August 1, 1995-) is a former Stanford University student-athlete who was found guilty of raping an inebriated student.
Brock was born in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from Oakwood High School in 2014, where he was a three-time All-American swimmer. At the time of his arrest, Turner was a 19-year-old freshman at Stanford University; enrolled on a swimming scholarship.
On January 18, 2015, on the Stanford University campus, Turner, then a 19-year old student athlete at Stanford, sexually assaulted 22-year-old Chanel Miller (referred to in court documents as "Emily Doe"), while she was unconscious. Two graduate students intervened and held Turner in place until police arrived. Turner was arrested and released the same day after posting $150,000 bail.
Turner and the victim had attended a party at Kappa Alpha fraternity earlier in the night. The victim's sister testified in the trial that Turner, a man previously unknown to her, had approached her twice and attempted to kiss her, but that she pulled away. She also testified that she never saw Turner and the victim interact at the party. According to a police report compiled in the morning after the incident, Turner at first told police that he met the victim outside the fraternity house and left with her. He also stated he did not know her name and "stated that he would not be able to recognize her if he saw her again."
Before sentencing, the prosecution filed a memo with the court describing Turner's drug and alcohol history at Stanford and earlier in high school. It recounted that police found photos and messages on Turner's cell phone that indicated extensive drug use, including LSD, ecstasy, marijuana extracts, and excessive alcohol. Turner was arrested in 2014 for possession of alcohol while under legal age.
By the conventions of U.S. courts and media, the woman Turner was convicted of assaulting was called "V01" in the redacted police report on the incident, "Jane Doe" in the indictment, and "Emily Doe" and "Jane Doe 1" by local and regional newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury News, the Stanford Daily and the Palo Alto Weekly. At the time of her assault, Doe was a 22-year-old alumna of a different college. Her younger sister (referred to by the media as Tiffany Doe or Jane Doe 2), was a student at a distant California university.
After being caught fleeing the scene, Turner was charged and was subsequently banned from campus. He also lost his position on the campus swimming team and can never professionally swim again, due to zero-tolerance policies over sexual misconduct.
His father later produced a statement in defense of his son, which gained infamy for trivializing rape as "20 minutes of pleasure." Turner's mother has also come out in defense of her son, claiming that his life was ruined after getting caught.
The public outrage at the sentence in the Turner case prompted the California State Legislature to pass two bills that would change California state law on sexual assault. Assembly Bill 701 would broaden California's definition of rape so that it would include digital as well as penile penetration. Assembly Bill 2888 (written by District Attorney Jeff Rosen) would provide for a mandatory minimum three-year prison sentence for sexual assault of an unconscious or intoxicated person. (Previously California law provided a mandatory minimum prison sentence when a defendant uses force, but had no mandatory minimum sentence when the victim is unconscious or incapacitated and unable to resist.)
The final versions of A.B. 2888 and A.B. 701 were both unanimously approved by the California legislature. Both bills subsequently went to Governor Jerry Brown's desk. The bills were signed into law on September 30, 2016.
After these laws were enacted, state law from before 2016 continued to provide that where imprisonment in the state prison is imposed for rape (when the victim is not a minor) or for the crime of sexual penetration when the victim is "prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance," the imprisonment is for a period of "three, six, or eight years."
He is permanently registered as a sex offender.