Judge Aaron Persky, who presided over the Stanford rape case, has been removed from another pending sexual assault trial.
As reported by the Washington Post, prosecutors asked for another judge after being surprised by Persky’s “unusual decision to unilaterally dismiss a case before the jury could deliberate,” according to Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen in a statement to TheWrap on Tuesday.
According to USA Today, Persky was briefly transferred to a case in order to decide whether a former San Jose nurse will stand trial on sexual assault charges for allegedly assaulting a patient while she was sedated.
“After this and the recent turn of events, we lack confidence that Judge Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing in which a male nurse sexually assaulted an anesthetized female patient,” he added. “This is a rare and carefully considered step for our Office. In the future, we will evaluate each case on its own merits and decide if we should use our legal right to ask for another judge in order to protect public safety and pursue justice.”
Persky became the object of a national effort to recall the judge after he found former Stanford student Brock Turner guilty of raping an unconscious woman, yet sentenced him to six months in county jail despite a maximum applicable penalty of 14 years in state prison. Over 1.2 million people have signed the petition on Change.org.
“Despite a unanimous guilty verdict, three felony convictions, the objections of 250 Stanford students, Jeff Rosen the district attorney for Santa Clara, as well as the deputy district attorney who likened Turner to ‘a predator searching for prey’ Judge Persky allowed the lenient sentence suggested by the probation department,” the petition read.
In court, the victim read an emotional letter to the perpetrator, calling the sentence “a soft time-out, a mockery of the seriousness of the assaults.”