All-Star Swimmer Faces Three Felony Counts In Sex Assault Trial

| by Nik Bonopartis
Brock Turner.Brock Turner.

A former all-star swimmer at Stanford University is headed to trial after he was accused of raping an unconscious woman.

Two bikers told police that they saw Brock Turner, 19 on top of a half-naked, passed-out woman, reports ABC 7 news. Turner reportedly tried to run, but the passersby chased him and eventually subdued him, holding the freshmen on the California campus until police arrived.

Turner, who told police he met the alleged victim at a party, was charged with five felonies. During an Oct. 6 preliminary hearing at California's Santa Clara County Superior Court, a judge tossed the two most serious charges — both rape counts — but ruled there was enough evidence to proceed with a trial on three other felony counts, according to Palo Alto Online.

Turner is accused of assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

The victim, who is not a Stanford student, told police she was drunk and does not remember the alleged sexual encounter with the former All-American swimmer, who had Olympic aspirations. Turner admitted to fondling the woman while she was conscious, and said they had "hooked up" during a party, but denied the rape allegations, according to ABC 7.

The former Stanford swimmer's story conflicts with statements by several witnesses, including a graduate student, one of the bicyclists who encountered Turner while he was allegedly assaulting the victim. In a police report obtained by Palo Alto Online, the witnesses described confronting Turner and chasing him after realizing "the person below wasn't moving at all." 

Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey Paul Taylor of the Stanford Department of Public Safety, the first police officer who responded that morning, wrote in the official report that he tried unsuccessfully to wake the alleged victim.

A Facebook page set up to support Turner said the former Stanford swimmer still has hopes of qualifying for the Olympics. The page says Turner was targeted with "slander" because he is "a winner." A message on the site says that "many young women use any opportunity they can, to accuse famous and successful people of sexually assaulting them," and suggested the victim may have been on drugs the night of the alleged assault.

Turner left the university and its swim team after the assault allegations.

The case won't proceed until 2016 when a pretrial hearing is scheduled for March 30, reports ABC 7.

Sources: ABC 7, Palo Alto Online, Facebook / Photo credit: Brock Turner for 2016 Olympics/Facebook