In a historic move, voters decided to recall Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky two years after his controversial decision to sentence Brock Turner to only six months in jail for attempted rape and sexual assault of an unconscious woman, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Persky is the first jurist to be recalled in the state of California since 1932. Fifty-nine percent of the county voted to remove Persky, while 41 percent opposed the decision. Assistant District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson will serve the last four years of Persky’s term. The judge has not issued a statement following the vote.
Persky became the center of controversy after he gave Stanford swimmer Brock Turner a light sentence following his heinous attempt to rape an unconscious woman. Turner was arrested in 2015 after two graduate students found him lying on top of an unconscious women beside a dumpster. During the case, he claimed the 22-year-old woman consented to the encounter, though she was unconscious. A jury found him guilty on three felony counts, which could have been punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Turner is now quite literally the textbook definition of rape. But despite the guilty verdict, Persky sentenced the Stanford athlete to only six months in jail, which he didn’t even fully serve, stating that a “prison sentence would have a severe impact on [Turner].”
The anonymous victim, known as Emily Doe, came forward following the sentencing to tell Turner he had taken “my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence.” She considered the sentence “an insult to me and all women.”
The recall campaign was organized by Michele Dauber, a Stanford law professor whose daughter was a friend of the victim. She accused the judge of expressing bias toward the affluent student athlete, since Persky had formerly been a Stanford lacrosse player. “This victory is not just for Emily Doe, but for girls and women everywhere,” she said, according to Mercury News.