Judge targeted for Brock Turner's light sentence in sex assault case faces recall vote

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Voters will decide whether to recall a California judge after critics of his sentence in a highly publicized sexual assault case gathered nearly 95,000 petition signatures.

The Santa Clara County registrar of voters said Tuesday that the recall campaign had enough signatures to put the recall of Judge Aaron Persky on the June 5 ballot, report the San Jose Mercury News, the Associated Press and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Persky was targeted after sentencing champion Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail in June 2016 for sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman who attended a fraternity party on campus. Police arrested Turner after two graduate students saw Turner on top of the unconscious woman behind a dumpster and held him for arrest.

Turner had said he thought the sex was consensual and he didn’t know the woman was unconscious.

The probation office had recommended four to six months in prison while the district attorney recommended a six-year sentence. Persky said he considered Turner’s character, his lack of criminal history and his remorsefulness.

Stanford law professor Michele Dauber led the recall campaign.

“This historic campaign is part of a national social movement to end impunity for athletes and other privileged perpetrators of sexual assault and violence against women,” she said.

On the other side were 46 law professors who said the recall effort poses a threat to the rule of law.

“Naked political pressure of this kind risks undermining the very foundation of dispassionate, independent judgment upon which all criminal convictions and sentences depend for their legitimacy,” they wrote in a July 2016 letter supporting Persky.

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