Activists move forward in recall effort of Santa Clara County judge Aaron Persky

A group of Silicon Valley activists who banded together to say no to rape culture met Monday in San Jose to officially try to recall a judge who gave Stanford sex assault convict Brock Turner what they see as a lenient sentence for assaulting a drunk woman at a party.

Led by Stanford professor Michelle Dauber, the recall organizers met at 9:30 a.m. at the Santa Clara County Superior Court house. Dauber founded RecallonPersky.com, a group that is funded by the Progressive Women of Silicon Valley Committee.

In a certified letter sent last week to his home, they notified Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky that they will file a notice of intention early Monday morning with the county registrar of voters, the Mercury News first reported. They also submitted a statement branding the judge as an apologist for rapists and batterers. #Enoughisenough, Dauber tweeted early Monday.

If the statement is approved by the county registrar of voters, it will appear — along with a response by Persky — on petitions that proponents plan to begin circulating in August, the Mercury News reported.

Recall proponents must collect 58,634 signatures within a 160-day period ending in January to qualify the measure for the June 2018 countywide ballot. The campaign, which Dauber is leading, has already hired a firm to help collect signatures. Dauber is a friend of the victim’s family and a longtime activist against campus sexual assault.

The judge and his supporters, including District Attorney Jeff Rosen, could not immediately be reached by the Mercury News on Monday.

Persky, who has not commented on the uproar over the Turner sentence, was transferred to civil court at his own request last summer. But recall proponents note he still could potentially preside over civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault. Persky launched his own website in his defense called RetainJudgePersky.com. He wrote he has a reputation for "being fair to both sides." 

Turner was convicted in June of sexually assaulting a drunk, unconscious young woman in 2015 outside a campus fraternity party.

Prosecutors had asked Persky to sentence Turner to six years in state prison. But Persky chose jailtime plus three years of probation. Turner served three months in jail and has moved back to his hometown in Ohio.

 

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