Judge Aaron Persky was recalled on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. He is the first California Justice to be recalled since 1932.
In 2016, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexual assault, to just six months in jail. Critics argued that the sentence, which could have been up to 14 years in prison, was far too lenient.
Brock Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. He was found guilty of three felony charges. The statutory minimum sentence for this crime is two years. California Penal Code states that justices can sentence below the minimum mandatory sentence in unusual cases “where the interests of justice would best be served”.
California Penal Code also requires that the injury and vulnerability of the victim be considered.
Judge Persky stated that “a prison sentence would have a severe impact” on Brock Turner. He also stated that the level of intoxication of Turner was a factor in the sentencing decision.
During sentencing Emily Doe, the 23-year-old victim, read an emotional statement on the impact the 2015 attack had on her life.
The public response to the sentence prompted lawmakers to enact mandatory minimum sentences in sexual assault cases, closing a loophole where judges could issue lighter sentences if the victim was intoxicated.