Stanford Rape Judge Removed From New Sexual Assault Case
Criticism continues to mount against Judge Aaron Perksy, who ignited national outrage after sentencing 20-year old Brock Turner—convicted on three felony counts of sexually assaulting a 22-year old unconscious women behind a dumpster—to a mere six months in county jail. Tuesday, the former sex crimes prosecutor turned rape apologist was removed from a sex assault case after prosecutors protested his capacity to fairly judge the case.
In a statement, Santa Clara County DA Jeff Rosen said prosecutors “lack confidence that Judge Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing in which a male nurse sexually assaulted an anesthetized female patient,” adding the decision was “carefully considered."
Reports last week indicate Judge Persky is facing increased scrutiny in the court room, as jurors refuse to deliberate under a judge who sentenced Turner to half a year in jail even as prosecutors sought a six year prison term.
A male juror who served on the Turner case wrote an open letter to Persky Monday, saying he was “absolutely shocked and appalled” by the judge’s verdict.
“I expected that this case would serve as a very strong deterrent to on-campus assaults,” the juror wrote. “But with the ridiculously lenient sentence, I am afraid that it makes a mockery of the whole trial.”
“Shame on you,” the juror concluded.
Mercury News reports the decision to seek the judge’s removal came after Persky dismissed an unrelated misdemeanor case mid-trial earlier this week. "We are disappointed and puzzled at Judge Persky's unusual decision to unilaterally dismiss a case before the jury could deliberate,'' Rosen said, adding that the judge’s decision on that unrelated case, coupled with his sentencing of Turner, called into question Persky’s ability to rule fairly on the forthcoming sexual assault case.
Cecil Webb, a surgical nurse, is accused of one felony count of sexual battery on a hospitalized patient who was sedated during the alleged assault. DA chief trial deputy Stacy Capps said the case “is one of those situations where we think the victim is particularly vulnerable.”
Rosen said his office will “evaluate each case on its own merit” to determine whether Persky is fit to judge, noting prosecutors will “decide if we should use our legal right to ask for another judge in order to protect public safety and pursue justice."