Voters oust California judge who sentenced Stanford swimmer in rape case

Judge Aaron Persky poses with a sign opposing his recall in Los Altos Hills Calif. in May

Judge Aaron Persky poses with a sign opposing his recall in Los Altos Hills Calif. in May

Turner served three months of his six-month sentence under a policy aimed at reducing jail overcrowding, far less than the six years in prison prosecutors sought for his assault at a frat party of an intoxicated, unconscious woman behind a dumpster.

By late Tuesday night, the gap was so wide that retired Judge LaDoris Cordell, a leading member of the No Recall of Judge Persky campaign, said the group realized "we could not close the gap".

Persky's 2016 decision sparked the recall movement, which said Turner's case was just one of many lenient sentences given out by the judge. "I think he will not be a danger to others" and "I mean, I take him at his word that, subjectively, that's his version of events", defending Turner's claim that in his drunken state, he remembers being given consent by the victim, Emily Doe. Two graduates happened to see the assault taking place, and intervened, tackling Turner.

Except Sanford Law Professor Michelle Dauber, who alone started this recall. Several rallies were held, and an estimated $1 million in campaign donations were raised.

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Under California law, voters can petition for elections to remove state officials from office for any reason. "The more places in which that signal can be sent, the better women will do".

The recall was the first of a California judge in more than 80 years.

Efforts to recall Persky began in June past year; community leaders began gathering the signatures needed to force a recall election on Persky's position. By a 60-40 margin, Judge Aaron Persky was recalled from office Tuesday.

"We ask judges to follow the rule of law and not the rule of public opinion", he told the news conference. Persky said he was unaware of complaints. But the judge said the publicity of Turner's arrest and trial and his loss of a swimming scholarship also factored into the sentence. He has had to register as a sex offender in his home state of Ohio.

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Citing judicial ethics, Mr Persky has declined to discuss the case in detail because Mr Turner has appealed.

The New York Times reports that recall supporters gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot of an election this week. KABC's sister station KGO-TV requested access for comment as the results came in, but no commitment were given. The opposition to the recall effort - including the Santa Clara County district attorney, its presiding judge and multiple former judges - argued that this was the proper democratic response to the controversial jail sentence, rather than removing the judge himself. Dauber also proclaimed that Persky has been too lenient in other cases, but when the four she mentioned are examined, her charge did not stand up. The unseated judge would be removed at that point. But in Santa Clara county, the debate has changed into something different - an argument about how best to correct a mistake.

"We voted today against impunity for high status perpetrators of sexual assault and domestic violence". But in the eyes of many critics, the judge had sent a clear message: The legal system does not take campus sexual assault seriously. "But we found that a lot of the voters were educated".

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