Brock Turner Hearings Begin, Two of Five Charges Dropped

Earlier this month, a preliminary hearing was held in the case of Brock Turnerthe former Stanford swimmer who was accused of sexual assault back in January.

The preliminary hearing saw testimony from the alleged victim and a witness, and also saw two of five charges against Turner dropped.

The Stanford Daily reports that the hearing began on Monday, October 5 at the Palo Alto Courthouse. The school paper also noted that Turner and his lawyer were present along with the victim, a witness to the incident and one of the grad students who reportedly broke up the assault.

Turner, a freshman at Stanford, was arrested in January after he was found on the Stanford campus late in the night with an intoxicated woman. Turner reportedly took off running when he was discovered, but the two students who found him chased him down.

Turner pleaded not guilty to all charges. He admitted to police that he had sexual contact with the woman, but denied any allegations of rape. The Stanford Daily reports that Turner stood by his not guilty pleas in this month’s preliminary hearing.

Per The Stanford Daily, the victim recounted the afternoon and evening that led to the incident, but did not remember meeting Turner. She remembered meeting with the witness at a fraternity party, drinking during the party, going unconscious and eventually waking up in the hospital and having a rape kit used on her to gather evidence. The witness, however, did remember interacting with Turner at the frat party.

The hearing continued into the next day, and saw two of five charges against Turner dropped. The charges dropped:

  • rape of an intoxicated person
  • rape of an unconscious person

Turner is still being tried for three other charges:

  • sexual penetration of an intoxicated woman
  • sexual penetration of an unconscious woman
  • assault with intent to commit rape

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Gina Rhinestone

That is a smorgasbord of charges available to the prosecution . Looks like they keep adding offences like engineering keeps adding requirements to courses.

The ‘sexual penetration of an intoxicated woman ‘ . Many of us would not be here but for those 3-4 glasses of wine. In fact western civ may have stopped altogether.

Imo both ppl could be covered under ‘drunk & stupid /drunk & predatory ‘ neither of which behaviour ever likely to be prosecuted/imprisoned away.

What about -he’s a bit of a creep & she’s an idiot?

"He’s a bit of a creep & she’s an idiot?"

I don’t know the full details of the story (not for a lack of interest, but a lack of publicly-available information), but we cannot say that, even given the lack of information, that this incident may be resolved by name-calling Turner and saying “shame” to the victim.

What he did was a felony, as he should be regarded as such: a felon.

That said, I am currently frustrated by the lack of transparency with this incident. Why were the charges dropped? And can someone with legal knowledge explain how sexual penetration with an intent to commit rape does not equal rape? Genuinely confused.

Gina Rhinestone

It has not been judged a felony yet . It is a charge & intent is very difficult to prove to a non prejudiced person.


now it is a felony. not one, but three. so now what do you think? do you still stick to your trite and uneducated summation ? or is he now guilty because a jury found him so. please, for the love of all that is holy, get yourself an education that doesn’t come from protective parents, hallowed walls, and a narrow-minded background.

Leyon kierring

The fact that he ran away when caught implies he knew he was doing something very wrong and not enjoying some female company. He is likely to be a lifelong rapist and its in best interest of our community he registers as a sex offender.


Or that he was caught having sec in public, which could also be very embarrassing and illegal, and likely.

William Birks

And what a gentleman… running away for having sex in public with his lady friend and leaving her there to face the consequences alone. All the arguments for this guy paint him as at least a jackass and at most a serial predator. Either way, an example should have been made but wasn’t because “he had so much potential and now it’s all going away”. Guess what? Welcome to life. Even the young lady he preyed upon said that if he had just fessed up and taken his medicine to begin with, she’d have so much more respect for him. But he fought it. And lost. And now he has to face the joke of consequence that was handed down:… Read more »


Caught having sex in public… with an UNCONSCIOUS woman. Have you even read the charges?


Because rape is defined by the no consensual insertion of an erect penis into a vagina. The bikers that found turner humping the unresponsive and unconscious girl did not see
him thrusting an erect penis into her vagina.

rae montpetit

No, sorry. The CA definition of “rape” is not the same as the FBI definition of “rape”. These are legal terms and this was not under federal jurisdiction. He is not a rapist, he is a sexual assailant. This does NOT lessen what he did to her, but in matters of law (which you brought up), technicalities matter.

An act that is “consensual sex” could be “statutory rape” if it happens a few miles down the road, across state lines where the statutes are different, even between the same people and under the same circumstances. Laws are unsettling that way, but part of the reason we have jury trials is so that community standards can be applied.


Well, the HEROES who saved the unconscious woman- who, btw WAS being RAPED, apparently understood, without having to double-check, that there was no consent during an obvious act of the “insertion of the rapist’s erect penis into the unconscious woman’s vagina”, and the MEDICAL RAPE KIT proved it.


Because in California, rape us defined by intercourse. There was no DNA to suggest his penis was inside her.

Rape is Rape. No excuses

wtf are you taking about ? they did a full examination on her and found evidence of lacerations and penetration. There IS evidence that his “penis” was inside of her. he even admitted it
If the woman is unconscious or too intoxicated to fully consent then it is rape
he committed a crime and should be punished
end of discussion.

Get some facts

Nah bro, nobody could tell if he had penis inside, word is when they caught him he was all zipped up, and he didn’t have any trouble running like you likely would if you were unzipped. The evidence in her vag showed abrasions, not lacerations, and they were light. The abrasions were likely from digital penetration from a finger, just like he already said he did. Also, no semen was supposedly on the girl anywhere. If she had lacerations in her vag his penis would practically have to be made out of a knife. “If the woman is unconscious or too intoxicated to fully consent then it is rape” Oh right, only if “the woman” is too intoxicated. If the… Read more »

A Notlim

I’m sorry – ‘Nobody could tell’ ?, ‘Word is’ ?

Cindy C

It doesn’t have to be a “penis” to constitute rape. Penetration could be done with any other object to constitute a rape charge. Also, vaginal tissue is delicate and can be lacerated with hard intercourse. It doesn’t take a sharp object to cause vaginal lacerations.

Justice denied

Maybe his testimony was discounted because it didn’t agree with the testimony of witnesses at the party and the two men who caught him raping an unconscious woman? How does an unconscious person give consent in the crazy, bizarro world you live in, Get Some Facts? Considering that he only was given 6 months and is likely to only serve 3 months, having this sentence waived on appeal would just be a further miscarriage of justice that would almost inevitably involve a recall of judge(s) who ruled in his favor. Poor guy, raped a woman and now can’t compete for the Olympics. If he was another race, they would have given him 40 years, even if the non-white man was… Read more »


Sorry..he was found guilty of digital penetration. Not rape. The rape kit showed no evidence of penile penetration. The witnesses only saw someone on top ot the victim, pants on. He may have been too drunk for sexual intercourse. It is my understanding that she left the party and her sister on her own power. He did not carry away from the party, a salient fact pointing to her having providing some kind of initial consent, if nothing other than to be alone with him. And this is a he-said.she-said case. I was appalled by the “victim’s” long-winded statement which seemed to be more of a carthetic outburst than anything else, hardly appropriate for the Judge or public consumption, and… Read more »


You are correct about the conviction(s). He is technically a sexual assailant rather than a rapist. Let me explain something about the victim’s “long-winded statement which seems to be more of a carthetic (I assume you mean “cathartic?”) outburst than anything else, hardly appropriate for the Judge…” A victim impact statement is a written or oral statement made as part of the judicial legal process, which allows crime victims the opportunity to speak during the sentencing of their attacker or at subsequent parole hearings. In some instances videotaped statements are permitted. (Wikipedia, not at all difficult to find.) Her statement was the definition of appropriate. Twelve people, who heard testimony and saw evidence far more closely than we ever will,… Read more »


I agree with you. It is frightening that this kid’s life is worth nothing simply because he’s male. I have been trying to find some information as to what really happened. I’ve read the statement by both Brock and the victim and frankly, I believe his is more sincere. Her’s seems like pour showbiz drama. What I find truly appalling is the unwitting sexism shown by most of the people posting here. She is basically being portrayed as a helpless imbecile not at all responsable for her actions. He’s responsable for his actions and hers too. Where can I find the witnesses statements. I don’t care about the Swedes becase it was after the fact and I already accept everything… Read more »


There is persuasive indirect evidence that she did NOT consent. First, she has a boyfriend whom she called at least twice (this is evidence that he was on her mind, even when she was extremely drunk). Second, Brock never claimed that she consented until AFTER he learned that she could not remember. It is foolish to not be suspicious when the perp’s story changes. The two cyclists could naysay him. She was unresponsive and he kept going (this is a felony). He ran away, which is an overwhelming indicator that something was very wrong. The physical evidence might naysay him (and I only say “might” because details haven’t been released). Consensual penetration does less–and different–damage, even when rough. She had… Read more »

Michael Braun

I suppose you could back and forth on whether you think there was evidence of forced intercourse or not by citing lacerations due to penetration. The problem, however, is that the *jury* found there was not enough evidence to convict of those charges and that the lacerations were due to penetration of his fingers. I wonder if some people are outraged because they have concluded that he raped her via sexual intercourse and not just with his fingers, or if they simply don’t care to make a distinction between the two acts. I’m not arguing for the perpetrator, I’m not advocating for people to consider this an appropriate sentence, I’m merely pointing out the technical aspects that seem to be… Read more »

Toma Basurto

Where do you live? Because I never, ever, EVER want to be walking the same streets as you. Ever.


Actually there was- a rape kit was performed by medical professionals.

Marquissa Cahee

yes actually there was besides the fact the he admitted it x


Not sure, but the last I checked “most people” aren’t conceived behind a dumpster after 3-4 glasses of wine. Maybe you should look into the details a bit more specifically before making such callous statments.


Because all he did was finger her


What about, she was unconscious? Read the police reports: . Reasonable people may disagree on the “you can’t consent after one drink” thing but I think it’s pretty obviously wrong to try to do sexual things with someone who could not be roused by the police minutes later.


He is guilty on all charges. No one can consent when they are unconscious or are not in a conscious mental state. His intent was rape and he knew it was wrong and she was unresponsive. No person should ever be violated in such a horrible way.


This is assuming she didn’t consent right before passing out.

Jess S.

Even if she enthusiastically consented right before losing consciousness, her losing consciousness invalidates that. An unconscious person cannot consent, plus, you know, who keeps humping a stranger when they pass out drunk instead of getting help?

Common Sense

Before you end up in jail yourself for that type of thinking, consent is null and void when they are no longer conscious. Continued consent is required. Loss of consciousness is the same as saying no or stop. It becomes rape. Just because someone was agreeable at first does NOT mean you can continue to do whatever the hell you want.

Michelle DiN..

Exactly what I was thinking. Jon, you thinking is F’d up. It says a lot about you that you are justifying this coward’s actions. Birds of a feather…


An unconscious person cannot consent. And if the person becomes unconscious during the act, whatever consent might have been given ends immediately.


What if it was your sister in that alley? What if it was your daughter? Would you want that prior consent to stand? He deserves the convictions and at least the mandatory minimum.


You are an idiot. You need to watch the Tea video that the Brits put out to help morons like you comprehend the concept of CONSENT! Enjoy prison, oh… unless you are a star athlete. Then you can do WETF you want!


Have you ever been drunk? Usually the difference between raging fun lover and passed out is 10 seconds of vertical laying.


yeah and when those 10 seconds come and go you stop….. duh.

Rape is Rape. No excuses

No matter how drunk you are, the SECOND the person passes out you STOP. otherwise it is rape and connect is no longer valid
are you saying you would continue having sex with a woman who is unconscious instead of looking for help ? and dont try to say that ” he may have not known that she is unconscious ” because its blatantly obvious when someone goes limp.
if so, if you would be the person who would continue having sex with an unconscious woman. please go get yourself checked out because you clearly are sick in the head or you need a refresher on common sense and what consent actually means !

Rape is Rape. No excuses

here’s a lesson for you Jon
if a woman consents to having sex with you
and she changes her mind half way
you STOP
you do not keep going, sober or not
the second a woman changes her mind, looses consciousness or becomes unresponsive
you STOP
otherwise it is considered RAPE
even if she goes all the way back to your place because she said yes, and then when she gets there she CHANGES her mind. you STOP
otherwise it is sexual assault
please learn this


It’s judgemental attitudes like yours which stop victims coming forward.
I hope you are never a victim.


What next Gina? Would it be OK for him to have sex with an unconscious person in a hospital bed because essentially what he did was exactly the same thin, RAPE.


Where is your humanity.


It breaks my heart that we’ve been raised in a society where you as a woman have been taught to believe that if you get too drunk, the world can have their way with you. when you pass out, you are STILL a human being. He was found humping her limp body behind a dumpster and then he RAN because he knew he was being a monster, not just “a bit of a creep”.

Are You Kidding Me?

These charges are completely appropriate. The rape charges are very difficult to prosecute, since much of it comes down to he said, she said. The “intent” factor is easier to prosecute because the burden of proof is somewhat lower. The fact that there are witnesses and a rape kit appear to look bad for the defense. This occurs far to often on college campuses, if he did it I hope he pays the price.


He admitted to it! How is that not intent…


It Wasn’t Penetration With Intent To Rape Its “Assault With Intent To Rape” Meaning The Prosecution Must Prove That He ASSAULTED Her And WANTED To Rape Her But Didn’t Ultimately Rape Her

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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