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Judge Who Handed Down Lenient Sentence in Stanford Sexual Assault Case Has Been Cleared of Misconduct

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

The California Commission on Judicial Performance ruled on Monday that Judge Aaron Persky, who sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail last June for sexually assaulting a woman on campus, did not display bias in his sentencing. The maximum sentence for the crimes Turner was convicted of, which include assault with attempt to rape, is 14 years.

According to the Associated Press, the 11-member panel wrote in its unsigned decision, “The commission has concluded that there is not clear and convincing evidence of bias, abuse of authority, or other basis to conclude that Judge Persky engaged in judicial misconduct warranting discipline.”

The commission also noted the thousands of petitions and complaints it had received with regards to the ethics of Persky’s sentencing, specifically questioning whether he was moved by gender bias to downplay the severity of Turner’s crime (Turner ended up serving three months in jail and had to register is a sex offender).

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Throughout the trial, Turner and his legal team portrayed him as a good kid who took a wrong turn. Turner blamed some of his actions on drinking (he repeatedly mentioned wanting “to show people that one night of drinking can ruin a life”), while denying other portions of his 23-year-old victim’s account, for instance, that she was unconscious during the assault and could not have consented.

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In August, the East Bay Times reported that Persky recused himself from the appeal proceedings of a different sex crime case. It was announced soon after that Persky had been reassigned to civil court and would no longer preside over criminal cases.

contributing writer, nights

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DISCUSSION

This is totally off topic and I apologize. Between my job and Christmas I will not be able to post much until well in to the new year.

I just want to give a big hug to all the young women who post here. I am an old and am in total awe of you. I wish I was you back when I was young. You are strong as hell, you never give up and know your worth. The posts I have seen from women and ladies as young as 16 just warms my heart. You inspire me, a middle aged woman.

The fact that so many young women got angry over this sentence tells me how much feminism has advanced, albeit slowly. I grew up in an era where your boss could grab your ass and there was nothing you could do about it.

So here’s to an awesome New Year and thank you so much for being in my world. I doubt you have any idea how much you mean to me. It is comforting knowing there is another generation of women who are feisty as hell.