A state appeals court in San Francisco has upheld the conviction and 4-year prison sentence of a former University of California at Berkeley football player for the rape and attempted rape of two female students. Noah Alexander Smith, now 24, was convicted in Alameda County Superior Court in 2009 of the rape and forcible oral copulation of one student in 2007 and the attempted rape of another in 2005.
On appeal, Smith’s lawyer argued that the trial court erred in allowing three other students to testify that they were sexual assaulted by Smith. In a ruling issued on Thursday, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and sentence. The panel rejected Smith’s claim on appeal that the jury was prejudiced by the testimony of the three other women about incidents for which he was never convicted.
Rape is codified in California under Penal Code Section 261, which defines rape “when an individual engages in sexual intercourse with another person when the sexual act is accomplished (1) against that person’s will, or (2) without that person’s consent.”
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