(STANFORD, Calif.) — More than 200,000 signatures have been collected on the website Change.org calling for the removal of the judge whose sentencing in a high-profile Stanford University sexual assault case drew ire over the weekend.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced former Stanford University student Brock Turner to six months in county jail last week for the sexual assault of an unconscious woman at a fraternity party. The survivor of the crime questioned whether the probation officer’s recommendation of a year or less in county jail was severe enough in an emotional statement that was read to Turner and Persky in court, and went viral last Friday afternoon after being published on Buzzfeed.com. The statement has been viewed over 7 million times since being published four days ago, according to a count linked to the article.
The petition was posted by Maria Ruiz, a nurse from Miami, Florida, in reaction to the statement made by the survivor of the assault that occurred in January of 2015.
“We the people would like to petition that Judge Aaron Persky be removed from his Judicial position for the lenient sentence he allowed in the Brock Turner rape case,” according to a statement on the petition’s page. “Despite a unanimous guilty verdict, three felony convictions, the objections of 250 Stanford students, Jeff Rosen, the district attorney for Santa Clara, as well as the deputy district attorney who likened Turner to a predator searching for prey” Judge Persky allowed the lenient sentence suggested by the probation department.”
“Please help rectify this travesty to justice,” it concludes.
Two rape charges against Turner were dropped last October. A jury found him guilty in March of three felony charges: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.
Turner, a star swimmer at Stanford, is currently appealing his conviction. Persky is barred from commenting on the case.
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