Sexual assaults are a big issue on college campuses across the country and at prestigious schools such as Dartmouth College, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
There have been two cases at Stanford since last year.
Brock Turner, 19, was an All-American athlete and held swimming records in his home state of Ohio. He was a freshman on Stanford's swim team, but withdrew from the university following the allegations.
Turner is accused of raping an intoxicated, unconscious woman he met at a party back in the early morning of January 18. Two bicyclists told police around 1 a.m. they spotted Turner on top of a half-naked woman. She was passed out. They chased Turner when he tried to run away, tackled him and held him down.
"If they're listening, thank you, thank you for doing the right thing. Because of their actions, they stopped a sexual assault and more importantly they apprehended a suspect which allowed a police officers to arrest him," Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci said.
Turner walked quietly into the Palo Alto courthouse with his attorney and his dad on Monday.
In the courtroom, the former Stanford swimmer's attorney entered a plea to five felony charges, including attempted rape.
"Actually, I'd like to enter pleas of not guilty today," Defense Attorney Michael Robinson said.
Turner told police he met the woman at a party and were hooking up. He told investigators he was fondling the woman, but never had sex.
"These types of sexual assaults happen on campuses, at parties all across the country. Sadly they often go unreported or worse were not able to proceed on these cases," Kianerci said.
On Monday morning, Turner only spoke once in the courtroom after the judge issued a protective order for the alleged victim.
The judge also denied a request by the defense to allow Turner to miss some future hearings because he is currently living in Ohio with his family.
The woman told police she was drinking heavily and has no memory of leaving the party with a man and did not consent to any sexual activity.
Turner was released from jail on $150,000 bail. His next hearing is March 30 and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
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