Brock Turner
Brock Turner, the former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, leaves the Santa Clara County Jail in San Jose, California, U.S. September 2, 2016. Reuters/Stephen Lam

Registered sex offender Brock Turner’s lawyer has claimed he did not intend intercourse with his unconscious victim, but just “outercourse.” On Tuesday, attorney Eric Multhaup offered a new argument as to why the former Stanford swimmer should have not been convicted.

The lawyer has argued that Turner’s attempted rape conviction should be overturned because he never intended to rape the unnamed woman. He tried to convince the three judges that his client only wanted “outercourse” with his intoxicated victim. Multhaup explained that Turner had his clothes on when he was caught by two Swedish grad students assaulting an intoxicated half-naked woman.

“I absolutely don’t understand what you are talking about,” Justice Franklin D Elia was quoted by Mercury News as saying. He added that the jury verdict should be honoured.

When Justice Adrienne Grover asked Multhaup if he was saying that the jury made unreasonable interferences, he answered, “Yes! They filled in the blanks.”

Elia said that intent is usually based on circumstances evidence and rarely by direct evidence, and therefore Multhaup’s argument was flimsy.

Assistant Attorney General Alisha Carlile said Multhaup’s version was “far-fetched” and didn’t support the facts of the case.

Though appeals court judges appeared sceptical of the lawyer’s argument, they are still expected to consider it. They will reach their decision within 90 days.

Turner, now 22 years old, was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault in California, US, in 2016. He was found guilty of sexual penetration of an unconscious woman, sexual penetration of an intoxicated woman, and assault with intent to commit rape. He was sentenced to six months incarceration in the Santa Clara County jail to be followed by three years of probation. However, he was released just after three months.

The judge in his case, Aaron Persky, faced criticisms for his lenient sentencing. After a petition and election, Persky was recalled from office in June.

Turner did not attend the court hearing on Tuesday. As part of his sentence, he has also been registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life.