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Why Brock Turner Wasn’t Convicted of Rape

By June 27, 2016November 14th, 2023No Comments


Brock Turner is a familiar name to those who have followed the news lately. The disgraced Stanford swimmer sexually assaulted an unconscious woman on campus, but only received a six month sentence.

His short sentence has been the subject of major controversy. Despite the prosecutor’s request for a much harsher sentence, the judge only sentenced Turner to six months. Outraged critics have suggested this is a prime example of lax policies on campus rape and overly lenient sentences for young, privileged, and wealthy whites.

We won’t be broaching those criticisms today, instead we’ll explore another factor that most likely played at least a small part in the sentencing.

In contrast to headlines and social media posts, under California’s laws Turner isn’t technically considered a rapist. California (and other states) has very specific laws that make distinction between sexual assault and rape.


Unless there is genital-to-genital contact, the crime is not considered rape in California. Since the DNA evidence showed no signs of genital-to-genital contact, the rape charges originally filed against Turner were dropped.

Instead of rape, Turner was charged with three counts of felony sexual assault:

  • Sexual penetration of an intoxicated woman
  • Assault with intent to commit rape
  • Sexual penetration of an unconscious woman

Although he wasn’t convicted of rape, Turner will have to register as a sex offender.

California isn’t alone in being criticized for sexual assault laws. Our own great state of Oklahoma came under fire recently for our oral sodomy laws. As a Oklahoma City sexual assault attorney, Jacqui has personally taken a stand to ensure every citizen in Oklahoma receives a fair trial no matter what they are accused of.

If you’ve been accused of rape or sexual assault, call us today for a consultation. These aren’t the kind of charges you want to face alone.