Judge in Stanford Rape Blocked from Hearing Another Sexual Assault Case

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June 14, 2016; NPR, “The Two-Way”

To prevent him from hearing another sexual assault case with similar characteristics to the Stanford rape case of Brock Turner, a peremptory challenge has been filed against California Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky. As readers will recall, the sentence given in the Turner case was a minimal six months and three years’ probation.

Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen filed the challenge Tuesday to block Persky from hearing the case of a former Kaiser Permanente surgical nurse who is alleged to have assaulted a sedated patient. As readers will remember, the victim at Stanford was unconscious through Brock’s assault on her.

Additionally, a recall campaign has been launched against Persky, and last week at least 10 prospective jurors in an unrelated case last week asked to be relieved of the duty to serve if he was to be the judge.

These are not the first jurors to express themselves on the sentencing. One of the jurors that served on the Stanford case told the Palo Alto Weekly last week he was “absolutely shocked and appalled” by the sentence. He wrote a letter saying as much to Persky, which read, in part:

During the sentencing, you said, “The trial is a search for the truth. It’s an imperfect process. But after the trial all sides should accept the jury’s findings.” It seems to me that you really did not accept the jury’s findings.

[…]

Justice has not been served in this case. The jury’s verdict of guilt on all three felony counts of sexual assault was completely disregarded in an effort to spare the perpetrator a “hardship.” What message does this send to [the victim], and indeed all victims of sexual assault and rape, especially those on college campuses? Your concern was for the impact on the assailant. I vehemently disagree; our concern should be for the victim.

Shame on you.

—Ruth McCambridge