A California district court tossed out Brock Turner's appeal for a new trial on Wednesday, his latest attempt to relitigate the sexual assault allegations that earned him three months of jail time in 2016.
The three-judge panel apparently wasn't persuaded by the argument Turner's lawyer, Eric S. Multhaup, made last month, when he claimed his client had only sought to have "outercourse" with the woman he is convicted of assaulting—not intercourse.
"I absolutely don’t understand what you are talking about," Justice Franklin D. Elia told Multhaup at the time, according to Mercury News.
Elia and two other district judges ruled Wednesday that Turner's original trial—during which time he was found guilty on three assault-related charges—was a fair one. In the ruling, Elia wrote there was "substantial evidence" to support each charge against Turner, including the one that stated Turner's victim was unconscious during his assault.
Multhaup had heavily disputed the jury's assessment that the young woman had been unconscious, insisting there was no evidence to suggest she'd gone from "being incapacitated from alcohol to loss of consciousness." The prosecution rebutted Multhaup's argument by pointing out that the bystanders who happened onto the scene had been able to "tell from 30 feet away" that she was unconscious.
The district court sided with the prosecution on Wednesday, recounting the sequence of events from the night of Turner's assault, which included Turner fleeing the scene when the bystanders approached him and later lying to police about it.
"Jurors reasonably could have inferred from the foregoing evidence that defendant knew Jane 1 was unconscious when he digitally penetrated her," the court document reads.
The court's rejection means the next step for Turner—should he wish to avoid having to register as a sex offender for life—would be to appeal the decision up to the Supreme Court.
Turner's adversaries, including Michele Dauber, the Stanford University law professor who led the campaign to recall the judge who sentenced Turner, suggested he accept the district court's decision, and give up.
"The appellate court has now rejected that idea," Dauber told USA Today, "and I think everyone, including Brock Turner, would be better served by accepting the jury’s verdict and moving on."