Multhaup's appeal brief includes a detailed examination of the testimony surrounding how drunk the victim, known as Emily Doe, was at the time of the crime. He concludes that it's "highly debatable" that Doe was too incapacitated, as she had testified, to consent to a sexual encounter.
The evidence he cites includes Turner's uncorroborated testimony that Doe willingly left a sorority party with him and walked 116 feet -- the figure the brief repeatedly cites as the distance between the sorority house and the scene of what the brief calls "the sexual conduct."
Multhaup cites several instances in which he says Turner's defense was placed at an unfair disadvantage:
- Judge Persky limited Turner's character witnesses to testify only about his "high moral character as it relates to sexual
- The jury was deprived of the opportunity to consider alternative lesser offenses than those charged by the prosecution.
- The prosecution had prejudicially focused on the crime's surroundings, specifically through repeated use of the phrase "behind the Dumpster."
- Persky failed to provide "an accurate and appropriate response" to jury questions during trial deliberations.
Twenty pages of Multhaup's brief focuses on the prosecution's allegedly prejudicial references to the Dumpster at the crime scene. The attorney writes that the focus on the garbage receptacle -- which was 20 to 30 feet from where Turner was seen on top of the half-naked Doe -- amounted to "propaganda" meant to sway the jury and faulted Turner's trial counsel for failing to object to it.
The brief says the references implied Turner was trying to hide what he was doing and were meant to suggest "moral depravity, callousness, and culpability ... because of the inherent connotations of filth, garbage, detritus and criminal activity frequently generally associated with Dumpsters. "
In fact, Multhaup wrote, the scene was actually "a clean, well-maintained area shaded by pine trees, typical of the sylvan Stanford campus."
Reaction to Turner's appeal?
Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara County district attorney, said in a statement, "Brock Turner received a fair trial and was justly convicted. His conviction will be upheld. Nothing can ever roll back Emily Doe’s legacy of raising the world’s awareness about sexual assault.”
Michele Dauber, the Stanford law professor who is leading a campaign to recall Persky over Turner's sentence, told the New York Times, "The jury heard the evidence and decisively rejected Turner’s efforts to blame the victim. The problem with this case is not that Judge Persky was unfair to Brock Turner, it’s that Judge Persky was unfair to the victim.”
“Regardless of whether it happened behind the dumpster or adjacent to the dumpster or the dumpster didn’t exist, he committed sexual assault,” Jess Davidson, managing director of the group End Rape on Campus, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Turner clearly still does not get it.”
Multhaup's brief notes what it calls "an inordinate amount of publicity, public outcry, and vituperation" against Turner and Persky, and asks the appeals panel to "distance itself from the media renditions of the case in favor of immersion in the actual evidence."