SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — The California Attorney General’s office on Tuesday filed a motion siding with the campaign to recall Judge Aaron Persky.
Judge Persky has been at the center of controversy ever since his 2016 rape case sentencing of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. Many people viewed Judge Persky as being too lenient in sentencing Turner to only six months in county jail last year after he was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a Stanford fraternity party on January 18, 2015.
Turner, now a registered sex offender, served three months at San Jose’s Main Jail before being released.
The State Attorney General’s office filed papers Tuesday which should allow the effort to recall Judge Persky to continue.
Persky and his legal team had filed a restraining order against the signature gatherers last week, but the State is siding with the county registrar, which approved the petition.
As of right now, no judge in Santa Clara County will hear Persky’s case. They have all recused themselves because they are all colleagues. The court is now looking elsewhere to find a judge to consider the recall case.
The group spearheading the recall gathered outside the Santa Clara courthouse Tuesday to continue to push for their cause.
“The point is to waste our time, waste our money, tie us up in the court to prevent democracy,” said Stanford law professor and Chair of Committee to Recall Judge Persky Michele Dauber in reference to the restraining order.
Dauber claims Persky has shown bias in cases involving violence against women.
“It’s very upsetting to women of county that he’s trying to silence us. I think sexual assault survivors are very familiar with the feeling of being silenced,” explained Daube. “This is just another attempt to silence us and we are not going to have it.”
Persky argued that because he is a state officer, California’s Secretary of State rather than the county registrar should decide whether a recall effort can move forward.
“Our role here today is to make sure Judge Persky is treated fairly during these recall proceedings,” said attorney Christine Peek, a member of the Persky legal team.
Meanwhile, Persky has hired Donald Trump’s Arizona campaign director to manage his campaign, setting off even more fury.
“That tells you everything you need to know about Persky’s bias against women and his views on sexual assault; that he would work with the Trump campaign,” said Dauber.
But those who do not support the recall say Persky’s sentence for Turner was lawful and followed a recommendation by the probation department.
If the recall effort is allowed to continue and they collect more than 90,000 signatures required, it would come up in the June 2018 election.