Aaron Persky, the judge who has faced intense scrutiny and calls for his light sentencing of former Stanford student Brock Turner, has recused himself from deciding the result of a separate sex crimes trial, according to the Mercury News. Judge Persky gave Turner only a six month sentence for committing sexual assault against a woman when both of them were inebriated at a party.
Judge Persky recused himself from the present case, citing that some might question his impartiality in the case, given that he came across news information about the new case while he was on vacation with this family, the Mercury News reported. In the filing where he excused himself from the case, Persky wrote:
While on vacation earlier this month, my family and I were exposed to publicity surrounding this case. This publicity has resulted in a personal family situation such that 'a person aware of the facts might reasonably entertain a doubt that the judge would be able to be impartial.'
The case that judge Persky was set to rule on is for Robert Chain, a plumber who currently is accused of felony possession of child pornography. Persky was set to decide whether or not Chain's charges would be reduced to a misdemeanor.
Persky has faced heavy public criticism for sentencing Turner to only six months after the student athlete was convicted of three felony sex crimes. A petition that has gathered over a million signatures has asked for Persky to be recalled, and there is an additional campaign dedicated to removing Persky from his position as a judge.
The Mercury News also reported that the decision in Chain's case will be given on October 6 by judge Kenneth P. Barnum in Palo Alto.