Stanford rape case: Inside the court documents
A California judge’s decision to give former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner a six-month jail sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman has caused a national uproar.
Now, court documents obtained by CNN shed new light on the disturbing assault and Turner’s apparent history of alcohol abuse and sexually aggressive behavior.
Here are key points from presentencing documents that give insight into a case that grabbed national attention:
Just after 1 a.m. on January 18, 2015, law enforcement officers responded to a report of an unconscious female in a field near the Kappa Alpha fraternity house, according to a sentencing memo.
They found the victim on the ground, in a fetal position, behind a garbage dumpster. She was breathing but unresponsive. Her dress was pulled up to her waist. Her underwear was on the ground; her hair disheveled and covered with pine needles.
About 25 yards away, two men, passers-by, had pinned down and restrained a young man who was later identified as Turner.
“We found him on top of the girl!” one of the men said. Turner smelled of alcohol as he was handcuffed.
One of the men later told authorities that Turner had been on top of the motionless woman.
“Hey, she’s f—— unconscious!” one of the men yelled. Turner managed to get away briefly but the man tripped and later tackled him. Turner was held down until deputies arrived. According to the probation document, Turner told deputies that he walked away from the frat house with the victim and they kissed.
They ended up on the ground, where he removed the victim’s underwear and he digitally penetrated her for about five minutes, Turner told deputies. “He denied taking his pants off and said his penis was never exposed.”
Detectives later saw a text message on Turner’s cell phone referring to breasts, according to the sentencing memo. The message said, “WHOS T– IS THAT”. It was sent in the early morning hours the day of the assault. Before that text, a photo was sent to a group via a third party app called GroupMe.
Prosecutors included a screen grab of the exchange in the sentencing memo.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for Turner’s phone but were unable to retrieve the alleged photo because GroupMe “images are not stored on the phone and can be deleted by a third member in the group,” the document said.
A witness told investigators that the day of the assault “he saw a female subject lying on the ground behind the dumpster… He also noticed a male subject standing over her with a cell phone. He was holding the cell phone. The cell phone had a bright light pointed in the direction of the female, using either a flashlight app in his phone or its built-in flash.”
Victim was completely unresponsive
When law enforcement arrived, one of the deputies, in a loud voice, asked the victim several times, “Can you hear me?”
There was no response. Paramedics tried a “shake and shout” technique and applied a physical pain stimulant. Still no response. She vomited once but didn’t regain consciousness.
In an ambulance later, a deputy tried to wake her repeatedly, without success. There was still no response after an EMT stuck an IV needle in the young woman’s arm.
The victim finally regained consciousness about 4:15 a.m. at a hospital. Later that morning, doctors said her blood alcohol concentration was 0.12% — and estimated her intoxication level at the time of the assault to be 0.22%.
Aggressive sexual behavior
The sentencing memo said that the victim’s sister was “caught completely off guard” when Turner tried to kiss her the night of the assault. She alerted a friend after Turner grabbed her waist and later picked him out of a lineup as the “aggressive” man at the party.
After being twice rejected by her sister, Turner went after the victim when she was “alone and inebriated.”
Turner took the victim to a dimly lit, isolated area and sexually assaulted her behind a dumpster.
“This behavior is not typical assaultive behavior that you find on campus, but it is more akin to a predator who is searching for prey,” the prosecutor wrote.
Another woman told investigators that Turner was “grabby” and “touchy,” putting his hands on her waist, stomach and upper thighs when she danced with him at a fraternity party about a week before the sexual assault. The woman told police Turner made her uncomfortable.
Prosecutor: Turner lied about his past
In the sentencing memo, the state said Turner lied to the probation department about his use of drugs. He implied that his first time drinking was at a swim team party at Stanford.
“Coming from a small town in Ohio, I had never really experienced celebrating or partying that involved alcohol,” Turner told a probation officer, adding that he was an “inexperienced drinker and party goer.”
But the evidence on Turner’s cell phone showed he was a drinker who partied regularly since high school, including the use of marijuana and other drugs.
“He was not truthful with the probation department or this Court about his experience with drinking and partying, much like he was not truthful about taking advantage of (redacted) … much like he was not truthful with the aftermath of being caught by Good Samaritans.
Turner’s prior alcohol possession and fake ID arrest
In mid-November 2014, Turner and a group of men were seen by a deputy walking on campus and drinking beer.
When the deputy approached the men, they ran away, according to the sentencing memo.
“Stop, police!” the deputy yelled several times. The men kept running. Another deputy cut off the men and ordered them on the ground.
Turner later admitted that he tried to hide the beer because he was under 21. Turner had a fake driver’s license in his possession.
After Turner’s arrest in connection with the 2015 sexual assault, investigators found evidence of “excessive drinking and using drugs” on his cell phone: A photo of him smoking from a pipe; a close-up shot of a bong; and a video of Turner taking a “bong hit” and sipping a bottle of liquor.
In addition, text messages indicated Turner used drugs while in high school and at Stanford, including references to acid as well as a a highly concentrated and potent form of marijuana.
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Curt Merrill, Sonam Vashi and Ali Foreman contributed to this report.
By Ray Sanchez