The Judge Who Sentenced Brock Turner Takes Himself Off All Criminal Cases

After months of criticism about the extremely lenient sentence he gave convicted Stanford rapist Brock Turner, Judge Aaron Persky will no longer hear criminal cases by his own choice. Beginning Sept. 6, Persky will only preside over civil cases in order to not bring unwarranted attention to criminal cases he would rule on. Although it isn’t the full recall much of the public wanted, those fighting to push Persky off the bench will likely be pleased that he won’t handle any more sexual assault cases for the time being.

“While I firmly believe in Judge Persky’s ability to serve in his current assignment, he has requested to be assigned to the civil division, in which he previously served,” Presiding Judge Risë Jones Pichon said in a statement to the press. “Judge Persky believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment.”

Persky was heavily attacked after giving Turner just six month in jail and three years’ probation for three felony counts of sexual assault despite the prosecution asking for a six-year sentence. The college swimmer will actually likely only serve three months, as the Santa Clara County’s Department of Corrections website has him scheduled for release Sept. 2.

Before recusing himself from criminal cases, Persky was removed from another sexual assault case in June in which a nurse was accused of touching a sedated patient’s genitals and breasts at a hospital. Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen filed a complaint against Persky for randomly throwing out an unrelated misdemeanor case before it even went to trial, saying he didn’t think Persky could “fairly participate” in the sexual assault case in question.

People have been calling for the Santa Clara County Superior Court judge to be removed from his position since the shocking Turner sentence was announced in June. Stanford professor Michele Landis Dauber has led the fight, starting a “Recall Judge Aaron Persky” campaign that’s gotten a lot of attention, and the new development won’t change what the group wants — Persky off the bench completely. “We are outraged at Judge Persky’s actions, and we don’t just want talk, we want to take him out of office,” its website says.

The group tells The Huffington Post it will still be working toward a recall vote in November 2017, which is the earliest a recall is possible.