Judge Aaron Persky has been facing intense public scrutiny for sentencing Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, to only six months in jail after he sexually assaulted a girl outside of a frat party back in 2015. And now his career is paying the price for it.
Persky was just successfully removed by California prosecutors from another similar case involving an unconscious woman. It happened on Monday after he decided to dismiss a misdemeanor stolen mail case mid-trial. Apparently, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
In a statement, Santa Clara District Attorney, Jeff Rosen said, “We are disappointed and puzzled at Judge Persky’s unusual decision to unilaterally dismiss a case before the jury could deliberate.”
Of course, this is not the first time Judge Persky has been accused of completely disregarding the opinion of the jury, as his decision in the Brock Turner case was also largely criticized for neglecting the unanimous vote of the jurors.
Rosen continued, “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.” And with that, Persky was removed from the case.
The procedure they used to do this was one called 170.6. It is the procedure put it into place when lawyers feel that the judge assigned to the case may be biased for one reason or another. 170.6 is so powerful that prosecutors could potentially use it to have Persky removed from every sexual assault case for the rest of his career, Loyola Law School Professor, Laurie Levenson,told NBC News. According to Levenson, “Once the affidavit is filed, the transfer to another judge is automatic.”
That being said, Rosen’s office has made it clear that their removal of Persky from the new sexual assault case was a “rare and carefully considered step for our office.” In terms of future cases, he explains, “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.”