The Fight To Oust Judge Aaron Persky Continues As His Past Of Light Sentences For Sex Offenders Is Revealed

It’s the fucking worst when a good cause gets forgotten because of how the news cycle works. Like remember Brock Turner’s light prison sentence and how pissed off everyone was? Well, don’t worry, because the battle’s still ongoing. In fact, the fight to oust Judge Aaron Persky continues, as his past of doling out light sentences for violent and sexual offenders has been revealed.

Judge Persky is the worst. Not only did he give Turner only six months in a county jail (though he’ll probably serve only three of those) because he was a good American swimmer who raped a girl, but he has been doing this all the fucking time. The man needs to be recalled.

Michele Landis Dauber, the Stanford professor who helped the Stanford victim get her statement over to Buzzfeed this spring, is leading the group trying to unseat the judge. And she’s digging  up a lot of dirt on this guy. The most recent is a 2015 case in which Persky sentenced 48-year-old Robert James Chain to four days in jail for having more than 200 images of child abuse on his computer. According to The Guardian, who obtained the court docs, they weren’t just average images: one, for example, depicted the sexual abuse of an infant. Persky gave Chain four days.

In a 2011 gang rape case of a 17-year-old girl, Persky allowed images of the girl at a party, like holding a shot glass and doing other “incriminating” things, into evidence during a civil trial. The defense asked for them to be admitted to prove that the victim didn’t have PTSD after her assault. “Did you have PTSD when you did the acts shown in these pictures?” a defense attorney asked her, according to the San Jose Mercury News. 

So not only does he give lenient sentences, Persky creates an environment in his courtroom where victim blaming is an acceptable tactic to protect sexual predators.

There are other cases, too. He once gave “weekend” jail time to a man who brutally beat his wife. He let the man go to jail just on the weekends for 12 weeks for beating his wife until she almost died — so that he could still work and, essentially, possibly, still beat his wife. It’s disturbing.

And just to show he’s not always biased: he gave a Latino man three years in prison for an assault similar to Turner’s. According to Dauber, though, that man pleaded guilty, “was extremely remorseful, apologized, [and] admitted it was wrong.” So Persky racially profiles when he’s sentencing, too.

With Persky on the court, sexual offenders in the area know they have a friend to help them get out of punishments. Making one mistake, like with Turner’s sentence, is bad on its own, but there seems to be a pattern of simply not giving a fuck — or worse, really not understanding rape culture or how dangerous his sentencing is for society.

The recall campaign is still going strong. It needs 80,000 signatures before a recall election this November. If you signed an online petition, that’s great. But there’s only this one official campaign, since online petitions have no legal standing. If you want this guy out, you have to donate or find a way to sign a petition in real life.

Persky’s actions are everything that’s wrong with rape culture. His time has to be up.