Stanford rape case judge Aaron Persky will no longer hear criminal trials: report
Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky, who has drawn heavy criticism for his handling of sexual assault cases, will no longer oversee criminal trials, the San Jose Mercury News reported on Thursday.
Persky reportedly asked to be removed from those types of cases, and will begin hearing civil cases in September.
The move comes months after Persky was thrust into the spotlight for sentencing Brock Turner to six months in jail for raping a woman. Not only was he the target of an online petition calling for the removal from the bench, but Persky was also criticized by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D), among other officials.
A group of 10 prospective jurors also refused to serve in Persky’s court this past June, citing his handling of the Turner case. That same month, he was removed from a different sexual assault case after prosecutors complained.
The furor against Persky continued following reports that he also allowed 37-year-old Ming Hsuan Chiang to serve in “weekend jail,” rather than a full jail sentence for beating his fiancee and threatening her life, in order to avoid interfering with Chiang’s work schedule.
According to the Mercury News, however, Presiding Judge Rise Pichon — Persky’s supervisor — did not plan to move him out of his seat, saying in a statement that the move was his idea.
“While I firmly believe in Judge Persky’s ability to serve in his current assignment, he has requested to be assigned to the civil division, in which he previously served,” the statement read. “Judge Perky believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment.”