Judge In Brock Turner Sentencing Removed From Upcoming Sexual Assault Trial

Aaron Persky, the California judge under fire for what some consider a lenient sentence for former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, has been removed from hearing an upcoming sexual assault trial.

Turner was convicted of three sexual assault charges earlier this year, stemming from an incident in January of 2015 in which Turner, then a freshman at Stanford, was found on top of a woman’s body behind a dumpster. Two bikers noticed the woman did not appear to be moving and confronted Turner, who fled. By the time they caught and detained Turner and returned to the woman’s body, she was found to be unconscious.

Earlier this month, Persky handed Turner a 6-month jail sentence, along with probation. Turner will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Later reports (and the release date listed on the Santa Clara County website) suggest that Turner could spend as little as three months in jail.

Many commenters on social media blasted the sentence as overly lenient. The charges could have carried up to 10 years in prison, and the prosecution pushed for a 6-month prison sentence. An online petition was also created to recall Persky from his position based on the sentence.

Now, NPR reports that Persky was removed from an upcoming case, unrelated to Turner’s but also dealing with sexual assault.

Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen filed a peremptory challenge this week to prevent Persky from deciding whether the new case should go to trial. The new case deals with a surgical nurse who is accused of sexually assaulting a sedated patient.

Rosen (who also represented the prosecution in the Turner case) filed his challenge on Tuesday, one day after Persky dismissed charges against a woman accused of misdemeanor theft. Mercury News calls that dismissal an “unusual step” and Rosen also reacted critically.

“We are disappointed and puzzled at Judge Persky’s unusual decision to unilaterally dismiss a case before the jury could deliberate,” Rosen said in the NPR piece. “After this and the recent turn of events, we lack confidence that Judge Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing in which a male nurse sexually assaulted an anesthetized female patient.”

NPR was unable to reach Persky for comment on the removal.

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M Duncan Scott
4 years ago

“Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen filed a peremptory challenge ….” A peremptory challenge to assignment of a judge to a particular case may be filed by either side in a case and requires no justification; it simply reassigns the case to another division of the Court.

4 years ago

Past the outrage there was a probationer report done by an experienced female officer who set the guidelines for the Turner case. Persky has elsewhere outlines some of his logic & this did not enrage enough that it received much publicity. But for this upcoming case of a male nurse alleged to have assaulted an unco patient – wow – he’s not going to miss adjudicating on that one. Dodged a bullet ! Anyhow you either have judges or you have witch hunts . At some stage we have to leave it & get on with our own lives/alcohol problems . Cases can always be appealed – which is not what the Prosecutor will be doing for the Turner case.… Read more »

Reply to  G.I.N.A.
4 years ago

Gina, actually, a criminal case can’t be appealed by the prosecution after sentencing, unless other charges are brought forth.

Reply to  DLswim
4 years ago

Thanks . Yes I should have said the sentence which I understand would go to another body . Which is why I said Californian law was interesting . (where i live the Prosecutor can appeal the sentence or some other aspects to a Court of Appeal ).

4 years ago

Can we keep this site to swimming news?

Reply to  Gramps
4 years ago

Brock Turner is/was a swimmer.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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