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Former Stanford University swimmer Brock Allen Turner received a six-month sentence for raping an unconscious woman because his judge, who cited his age and lack of prior convictions, didn’t want to ruin the rest of his life. But the widespread outrage over Judge Aaron Persky’s lenient sentence has produced two petitions seeking his removal from the bench.
Persky, who is up for re-election in the fall, is running unopposed. In lieu of drafting a candidate to oppose him, the petitions’ creators focused on driving people to the California judicial performance commission’s complaint page. Both petitions urged supporters to make two specific complaints.
Appearance of bias toward a particular class: Pensky sentenced fellow alumni and athlete Of Stanford university to an unusually lenient sentence of 6 months for a unanimously guilty verdict on three counts of sexual assault. Despite Mr Turner showing no remorse and despite being caught in the act.
Inappropriate comments on the bench: “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him(Brock Turner)” in relation to why this convicted rapist would serve such a short sentence.
Interestingly, Persky has a history of campaigning on his strong support for women who are the victims of sexual abuse.
On his since-deleted campaign website, Persky touted his past work as a prosecutor responsible for “keeping sexually violent predators confined to mental hospitals.”
In his resume, also posted on the campaign website, Persky touted his past work as a board member for the Support Network for Battered Women.
And in another biography posted on SmartVoter.org, Persky noted that he was a Stanford alum. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations in 1984 and a Master’s Degree in International Policy Studies in 1985.
Turner was also a student at Stanford when he raped his victim.
Phone calls and emails to Persky were not returned by press time. The clerk for his department told the Daily Dot that the judge would not comment on the case.
Jason Reed, better known online as Challenger, is the Art Director of the Daily Dot.
Lyz Lenz is currently the managing editor of the Rumpus. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Jezebel, the Columbia Journalism Review, and Mashable.