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Judge in Stanford Rape Case Removed From New Sex Assault Hearing as Calls Grow for His Ouster


Judge in Stanford Rape Case Removed From New Sex Assault Hearing as Calls Grow for His Ouster A banner addressing Brock Turner's sentencing flew above Stanford's recent commencement read "Protect survivors. Not rapists. Persky must go." (Getty)

An embattled California judge facing a recall campaign after sentencing an ex-Stanford University student convicted of rape to only months in jail was removed from a new sexual assault case by authorities who said they doubted he could act fairly.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen used a prosecutor's authority to disqualify a judge to block transfer of the new sexual assault case to Judge Aaron Persky, The Associated Press reported.

Persky was transferred a case Tuesday to decide whether a former San Jose nurse should stand trial on charges he sexually assaulted a sedated patient.

Each side in criminal cases is allowed one motion each to remove a judge from a case and have it assigned to another judge, which rarely occurs.

But Rosen removed Persky from the new case a day after he dismissed a misdemeanor theft case and jury before deliberations started, ruling prosecutors had not proven their case during a two-day trial.

Read: Outrage Grows Over Six-Month Sentence For Stanford Rape Case

"We are disappointed and puzzled at Judge Persky's unusual decision to unilaterally dismiss a case before the jury could deliberate," the district attorney said in a statement, according to the AP.

"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."

Persky has faced serious backlash after he sentenced former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, 20, on June 2 to six months in jail for sexually assaulting a young woman behind a dumpster after he met her at a fraternity party.

Rosen disagreed with Persky’s sentencing when it was handed down, saying in a statement: “The punishment does not fit the crime. The predatory offender has failed to take responsibility, failed to show remorse and failed to tell the truth.

Read: Mom of Stanford Rapist Begged Judge For No Jail Time At All: 'He Won't Survive It'

“The sentence does not factor in the true seriousness of this sexual assault, or the victim’s ongoing trauma. Campus rape is no different than off-campus rape. Rape is rape. And I will prosecute it as such.”

Many were outraged by Persky’s decision and have demanded a recall of the judge, who is a Stanford alumnus. To date, a Change.org petition calling for his removal has received more than 1.2 million signatures.

"If you’re going to declare that a high-achieving perpetrator is an unusual case, then you’re saying to women on college campuses that they don’t deserve the full protection of the law in the state of California,” Michele Dauber, a law professor at the California institute of higher learning, told The New York Times.

Several potential jurors also have told Persky they could not serve on a jury in his court because of the Turner sentence.

The district attorney told the AP he hasn't decided whether he will disqualify Persky from all new sexual assault cases that he may be assigned in the future.

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