Rape allegations sink former Stanford swimmer

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office plans to file five felony charges today against a former high-ranked swimmer for Stanford University suspected of raping an intoxicated woman on campus 10 days ago, prosecutors said.

Brock Allen Turner, 19, was arrested by officers of the university’s Department of Public Safety in the early morning of Jan. 18 after witnesses reported seeing him on top of a woman on the campus as she lay unconscious, according to the district attorney’s office.

Turner was released from county jail after posting $150,000 bail and an arraignment hearing for him is scheduled for Monday in Palo Alto, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors intend to charge Turner with rape by an intoxicating or controlled substance, rape of a victim unconscious of the nature of the act, assault with the intent to commit a felony, sexual penetration when the victim was intoxicated or anesthetized and sexual penetration where the victim was unconscious of the nature of the act.

A Santa Clara County Superior Court clerk in San Jose said no charges had been filed against Turner as of late this morning. According to prosecutors, two men riding bicycles on the Stanford campus early on Jan. 18 noticed a man lying on top of a woman who appeared to be unconscious and when they approached, the man attempted to flee.

Stanford spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said the incident occurred in a grassy area behind student residences and Lake Lagunita, an artificial lake on the university campus, and that the victim was not a Stanford student. The bicyclists pursued the suspect, held him down and waited for campus police to arrive, Lapin said.

A third Stanford student came forward and also reported seeing the suspect over the woman, prosecutors said. When campus police arrived, Turner was arrested and the victim received medical assistance, prosecutors said.

Turner and the victim met the evening of Jan. 17 at a party on campus, according to the district attorney’s office. Lapin said that Turner has voluntarily withdrawn from the university and is no longer a student there:

“This is something that the university does take very seriously. … It was the students who were courageous enough to intervene when they saw something that didn’t seem right.”

Catherine Criswell, the university’s Title IX Coordinator, issued a statement saying that the student witnesses were both graduates and undergraduates whom the university commends for “their courage and quick response.” The university is also investigating the matter under Title IX, the federal law that bars sex discrimination and sexual harassment on college campuses, Criswell said.

Turner, of Dayton, Ohio, was the top-ranked recruit among college-bound swimmers in the state of Ohio last year and ranked 21st in the nation before he left to join Stanford’s men’s swim team as a freshman last fall, according to collegeswimming.com. Turner’s photo and details of his past record as a swimmer have been deleted from the university’s website.

He last competed for Stanford on Jan. 10 in 200-yard backstroke and 1,000-yard freestyle races on campus against University of the Pacific, finishing second and third, respectively, according to collegeswimming.com.