On campus and on social media, however, Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky has been vilified as too lenient on a privileged athlete from a top-tier swimming program in a case that captured the national spotlight. Some are urging he be removed from the bench.
Persky said in court Thursday that he was following the recommendation of the county’s probation department by sentencing Brock Turner, 20, to six months in county jail and three years’ probation. The judge cited Turner’s clean criminal record and the effect the conviction will have on his life. Turner, of Dayton, Ohio, also must to register for life as a sex offender after a jury convicted him of three felony counts of assault and attempted rape.
The local prosecutor disagreed with the sentence, arguing for six years for crimes that could have sent Turner to prison for 10 years. But lawyers who have appeared in Persky’s court call him a fair and conservative judge in the county in the heart of Silicon Valley.