FILE – June 27, 2011 file photo shows Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, who drew criticism for the conviction of a former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to just six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.
(Jason Doiy/The Recorder, via AP, File)
SAN FRANCISCO – the California agency that oversees judicial discipline in the state ruled Monday that a judge is not misconduct when he sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexually assaulting a young woman on the campus.
The California Commission on Judicial Performance said it was proof that Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky shown bias in the passing of a sentence labeled as too lenient by critics across the country.
“The commission has concluded that there is no clear and convincing evidence of bias, abuse of authority, or other basis on which to conclude that the Judge Persky involved in a judicial misconduct warranting discipline,” the 11-member panel concluded in its unsigned ruling.
The commission said it received thousands of complaints and petitions relating to Persky and the sentence.
The petitions included complaints that Persky “displayed gender bias and not on sexual abuse of women seriously,” and showed favoritism to Turner, because the judge was a former Stanford athlete.
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January 2015, booking photo released by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, Brock Turner. The former Stanford University swimmer was sentenced last week to six months in prison and three years probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, sparks outrage from critics who say Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky was too lenient on a privileged athlete, a top-tier swimming program. (Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
Turner, 21, was released from prison in September after serving three months. He will be a probationary period of three years in his native town in Ohio and is a registered sex offender.
Persky is the purpose of a campaign to remember.
Turner was convicted of assaulting the woman near a trash bin after they drank heavily at a fraternity party. The woman had passed, and Turner was on top of her when they are confronted by two graduate students along bikes. They chased him when he tried to flee, holding him on the ground until the police arrived.
A jury in March found Turner guilty of three felony sexual assault counts. Persky sentenced him to six months in prison, citing the “extraordinary circumstances” of Turner’s youth, criminal history and other considerations, in derogation of the minimum sentence of two years in prison. Prosecutors had argued for six years.
Turner case exploded on social media and was the impetus to a debate about campus rape and the criminal justice system after the target is 7200-letter word that they read in the courtroom during the sentencing was published online.