Critics of Aaron Persky, the California judge who found himself at the center of a nationwide furor last year over campus rape, have started the long process of trying to unseat him, reports The Recorder. Led by Stanford University law professor Michele Dauber, a group of 50 that includes local politicians, progressive activists and Silicon Valley engineers submitted a notice of intent to circulate a recall petition yesterday to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.
The notice says Persky “stunned the world when he sentenced Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a fraternity party.” The notice says “Santa Clara County residents deserve a judge who will protect victims—not rapists.” Persky has seven days to file a response. Persky sentenced Turner to six months in jail for sexual assault crimes; the district attorney had sought six years. A statement by Turner’s victim, “Emily Doe,” quickly went viral and fueled an outpouring of criticism against the judge. Turner was released last September for good behavior. The same month, after reports of other controversial sentencing decisions involving sex crimes and assault against women, Persky requested reassignment to a civil court.