SAN JOSE (CBS SF) –A California judge has been reassigned after months of receiving national criticism for handing down a six-month sentence to convicted sex assailant and ex-Stanford University student Brock Turner.

Starting in September, Judge Aaron Persky will no longer be assigned to criminal hearings in Palo Alto. At Persky’s request, he has been assigned to the civil division in San Jose.

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Presiding Judge Risë Jones Pichon commented on the change in a statement on Thursday afternoon. He writes:

“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. 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.”

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Another judge, the Hon. Vincent Chiarello, will hear cases in Palo Alto while Persky hears cases in San Jose.

Normally, the presiding judge implements assignment changes in January of each year, but let the two judges swap assignments mid-year.

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The victim in the Brock Turner sexual assault case was not publicly identified, but she disagreed with the probation report and penned a powerful victim impact statement, which was read by millions.

Her statement sparked national criticism of Persky’s decision to sentence Turner to just six months in jail and led members of Congress to read her entire statement publicly.

In the victim’s statement, she writes that a light sentence would make “a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults.”

Since Turner’s sentencing millions of people have signed petitions and called for Persky’s removal.

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By Hannah Albarazi – Follow her on Twitter: @hannahalbarazi.