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Stanford Rape Case Judge Transfers From Criminal to Civil Court

Persky sentenced a former Stanford swimmer to just six months in jail after raping unconscious woman

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, who oversaw the controversial Stanford rape case, requested to stop handling criminal matters and move to civil court.

The request was approved by the county’s presiding Judge Rise Pichon, but the assignment will be reviewed on September 6

“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,” Pichon said in a statement Thursday. “Judge Persky 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.”

Hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition calling for the removal of Persky, who sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer to just six months in county jail after he was found guilty of raping an unconscious woman on campus. The victim read an emotional statement to Turner in court, questioning whether the probation officer’s recommendation of a year or less in county jail was severe enough.

Despite national outrage, various colleagues of Persky praised the judge in response to the criticism. Barbara Muller, a criminal defense attorney who works two weeks out of every month in Persky’s court, said he was “one of the fairest judges” in the country, and that he “considers all facts and is very thorough.”