Reuters) – A member of the Stanford University swim team charged with rape after he was seen on top of a motionless woman outside a fraternity told police she consented to being fondled and they both were drinking, according to an account presented in court.
Freshman Brock Allen Turner, 19, an Ohio native, has been charged with five felonies, including rape, rape of an intoxicated person, rape of an unconscious person and assault.
The woman was unresponsive when police found her on the ground outside a Kappa Alpha fraternity party at the prestigious university south of San Francisco early on Jan. 18. She did not become responsive until more than three hours later in the hospital, according to documents filed in Santa Clara County court and read to Reuters by the local prosecutor’s office.
The unusual arrest of a student on suspicion of raping a woman in public follows a number of high-profile sexual assault cases that have sparked a national discussion about how to prevent rapes at universities.
The White House has declared a sex crimes “epidemic” on college campuses and California Governor Jerry Brown last year signed a law requiring all state colleges to adopt a policy of unambiguous affirmative consent by students.
Turner told police his “intentions were not to try and rape a girl without her consent” and that the woman seemed to be having a good time, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
He said he met her at the back of the fraternity house at the private university and they started kissing and drinking beer, then walked away and lay on the ground, according to the court papers cited by the District Attorney’s Office.
A passing student saw Turner on top of the woman and thought it odd that she was not moving, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The student and his friends approached Turner, who ran before they caught him and held him until police arrived, prosecutors said.
Turner, who has withdrawn from Stanford, was booked and released on $US150,000 bail. His arraignment is Monday. His lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.
The woman told investigators she was drinking and the last thing she remembers was standing outside the house talking to some men, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Bill Trott)
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