Brock Turner Judge Removed from New Sexual Assault Case

June 15th 2016

Taylor Bell

The judge who created controversy for sentencing convicted sex offender Brock Turner to just six months in county jail has been removed from presiding over another sexual assault case, AP reports.

According to the AP report, on Tuesday, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen removed judge Aaron Persky from ruling in another sexual assault case involving a San Jose nurse who allegedly assaulted his patient.

The report notes that the decision comes a day after Persky "tossed out a misdemeanor theft trial before it reached the jury," and amid national criticism for what many called a far too lenient sentence for Turner.

Persky's decision in the Turner sentencing sparked national outrage, with many arguing that leniency did not serve justice and only reinforced rape culture.


California law allows attorneys from each side of a proceeding to submit motions for the removal of the judge, on the grounds of prejudice.

California lawyer Michael Daymude noted on his blog that this action, known as "papering a judge," can be done over the judge's objection.

"Provided the statement is timely and in proper form, the judge has no discretion and must accept the challenge," Daymude wrote. "The right to disqualify a judge under section 170.6 is automatic in the sense that a good faith belief in prejudice is sufficient – no showing of actual prejudice is required."

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen wrote in his statement that he "lack[ed[ confidence that Judge (Aaron) Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing in which a male nurse sexually assaulted an anesthetized female patient,” Reuters reports

Before the decision to remove Persky on Tuesday, multiple jurors asked to be removed from duty in a case Persky was presiding.

On top of that, a non-legally binding Change.org petition seeking to remove Persky from the bench has more than 1 million supporters.

"We the people would like to petition that Judge Aaron Persky be removed from his Judicial position for the lenient sentence he allowed in the Brock Turner rape case," the petition reads. "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."

Although Persky was dismissed from one sexual assault case, it is not known whether Persky will be barred from ruling on all sexual assault cases in the future, AP reports.