Judge who sentenced swimmer recalled amid #MeToo movement

Judge who sentenced swimmer recalled amid #MeToo movement

Persky gained national notoriety in June 2016 when he sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail for the sexual assault of an unconscious woman, a sentence many argued was far too lenient.

Talk of a recall campaign began nearly as soon as Judge Persky handed down his sentence, and early this year, the Santa Clara County registrar announced that supporters of a recall - led by Michele Dauber, a law professor at Stanford whose daughter is friends with Emily Doe - had collected enough signatures to put the question on Tuesday's ballot.

Turner ended up only serving three months due to good behavior. The charges -two for felony sexual assault and one for attempted rape- carried a potential sentence of 14 years in prison. Persky would be the first California judge recalled from office since 1932 if a majority of voters choose to remove him on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

If voters decide to yank Persky from the bench, it would be the first time in 86 years that a California judge was pulled from office.

Cordell said she would work to change California's recall law so judges can not be ousted for making a lawful judgment call. But the successful recall of Judge Aaron Persky Tuesday for that controversial sentence could have a chilling effect on other judges who make hard decisions.

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On the other side of the debate are veteran legal professionals who say that ousting Persky could set a risky precedent, threatening judicial independence and forcing judges to mete out harsher sentences simply to stave off public outrage and political repercussions. But the vote could continue to resonate, said retired Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Leonard Edwards.

Turner, 20 at the time, was seen by two other students sexually assaulting his victim behind a rubbish bin outdoors in January 2015. "This was such an egregious crime", Kells said. Her statement quickly went viral.

While the now-famous 2016 sentencing hearing happened before the #MeToo movement took hold over the country, ballots cast Tuesday were made in the backdrop of the movement, which has emboldened sexual assault survivors and forced criminal investigations and oustings of powerful men, most notably with Harvey Weinstein. In other words, he helped incarcerate people like Turner, 22, who is now living near Dayton, Ohio, and required to register annually for life as a sex offender. Rosen also opposed the recall, though he said the sentence was too lenient.

Though unable to speak about the Turner case specifically because it remains under appeal, Persky has not indicated he would have done anything differently. When asked why he remained silent for so long, Persky told reporters that he considered it the job of judges to take criticism and to stand silent and be independent. MORE: Prosecution memo stresses Brock Turner had history of harassing women His side reportedly raised over $850,000, but part of that is in donated services. "This campaign and this election will have no impact on judicial independence", said Dauber. "It sort of corroborates the evidence of his character up until the night of this incident, which has been positive", Persky said of the "evidence".

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