Stanford rape case judge Aaron Persky removed from office

Screen shot: Stanford rape case judge Aaron Persky removed from office

A US judge who was widely criticized for his indulgence toward a university rapist was dismissed by the voters.

Judge Aaron Persky handed Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner a six-month sentence in June 2016.

But county judges in California are elected, and if a petition to remove them from the office gets enough signatures, a vote will be held.

Those elections are rare: the last time a US judge was called was in 1977.

Tuesday’s vote in Santa Clara County marks the first time a California judge was dismissed in this way for more than 80 years.

“We are outraged at [his] actions, and we don’t just want talk, we want to take him out of office,” an earlier statement from the campaign to remove him said.

“Persky is unfit to sit on the bench,” it added.

The former Santa Clara County judge said recently that he did not regret the case.

He has also been acquitted of misconduct by the California Commission on Judicial Performance.

What happened in the Stanford case?

Turner was seen by two other students sexually assaulting his victim, now 23, behind an outdoor garbage can in January 2015.

In March 2016, he was convicted of three felony counts and faced up to 14 years in prison.

But he received a much shorter sentence after Judge Persky expressed concern about the impact prison would have on him.

The case triggered a national debate about sexual assault and whether rich white men are treated more favorably in the courts.

Turner was released after serving only three months in the county jail.

How did the recall election come about?

It has been a long process that began when community leaders in the county began collecting signatures to remove Judge Persky last June.

They needed to gather 58,634 signatures, 20% of the electorate with the right to vote, in 160 days. Doing so meant that voters in the county Tuesday elections would vote for its elimination.

Stanford law professor Michele Dauber led the impeachment effort along with 50 community leaders.

“Women have had enough of rape culture,” she said at a news conference last year. “Santa Clara County residents deserve a judge who will protect victims.”

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