Stanford sex assault case judge no longer ruling on criminal cases

Activists deliver boxes of signed petitions to the California Commission on Judicial Performance calling for the removal of Judge Aaron Persky from the bench after his controversial sentencing in the Stanford rape case, in San Francisco, California, U.S. © Stephen Lam
Following the massive outcry Judge Aaron Persky received for sentencing convicted sexual assailant Brock Turner to six months in jail, Persky will no longer preside over criminal cases. Instead, the judge will be responsible only for civil cases.

Beginning September 6, Judge Persky will not have the power to sentence anyone to jail time. This may come as good news to the almost 1.3 million people who signed a petition to remove Persky from the bench altogether.

Persky became a national figure after he sentenced Brock Turner to only six months in jail after being found guilty of three felonies related to the sexual assault of a woman.

Persky explained a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on the college athlete’s future. The judge’s ruling led to a Change.org petition to recall him.

Following Turner’s sentencing, Persky has received a significant amount of professional backlash. In June, potential jurors refused to serve on a jury in an unrelated case. In addition, a spotlight was focused on similar cases he handled that had significantly different outcomes, such as when he sentenced an El Salvadorian immigrant to three years behind bars for assaulting his roommate.

His credibility was so called into question that he was even removed from presiding over a case where a nurse allegedly sexually assaulted an unconscious patient.

While I firmly believe in Judge Persky’s ability to serve in his current assignment,” Santa Clara County Superior Court spokesman Joseph D. Macaluso told KRON, “he has requested to be assigned to the civil division, in which he previously served. Judge Persky believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment.