A California court has denied the appeal of former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner's conviction on sexual assault charges.
The state’s 6th District Court of Appeals handed down the ruling Wednesday.
Turner was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault in March 2016 for the Jan. 8, 2015, assault of a 22-year-old woman behind a dumpster on Stanford's campus in Stanford, Calif., after a fraternity party.
In the appeal, Turner’s attorney argued that the former Ohio high school student never intended to sexually assault anyone, that he, instead, engaged in “sexual outercourse” as a version of “safe sex.”
The appeals panel ruled that Turner’s argument “lacks merit,” according to KPIX-TV.
“The fact that the defendant was engaging in a different sexual act at the time the encounter was interrupted (namely, “dry humping”) does not foreclose the inference that he intended, ultimately, to rape ‘the victim,'” the court wrote, KPIX reported, and upheld Turner’s conviction.
The attack was interrupted by several exchange students who happened by the area while it was unfolding.
A jury originally found Turner, once a swimmer at Stanford University, guilty of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person. He was sentenced to just six months in jail, but served only three months of the sentence.
After his conviction, Turner was designated a Tier III sex offender, the highest level, in his home state of Ohio and has to register every 90 days.
The impact of the 2016 case continues to be felt in California, where Santa Clara County voters in June recalled the original judge in the case, Aaron Persky, who sentenced Turner. A campaign to unseat him raised more than $2 million in nationwide contributions.
Cox Media Group National Content Desk editor Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.
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