A statement made by the Santa Clara County Superior Court reveals that a petition to recall the judge who sentenced former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner has received enough valid signatures to proceed to the ballot. Voters will decide in June whether or not to remove the judge from his position after being criticized for his handling of the case.
"After conducting a random sampling of the 94,539 signatures submitted by a campaign to recall Judge Aaron Persky from the Santa Clara County Superior Court, the Registrar of Voters (ROV) found a sufficient number of them to be valid," the statement reads.
Ex Stanford swimmer Brock Turner leaves jail on Sept. 2, 2016 after serving only three months of his six-month jail sentence.
The campaign to recall Aaron was launched after he sentenced Brock to just six months in jail after being convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a trash bin after an on-campus party — a crime that could warrant up to 14 years in prison. However, he was released from jail after serving three months with credit for good behavior.
According to ABC News San Francisco affiliate KGO, recall advocates have said that Aaron has a history of leniency toward offenders who were once star athletes. ESPN previously reported that Aaron was a former lacrosse player at Stanford, and when sentencing Brock, he said, "A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him… I think he will not be a danger to others."
In response to the signatures, Aaron's attorney, Elizabeth Pipkin, told KGO, "Our firm has always been committed to protecting the law — the civil rights of all within our community and country. The recall effort does not comply with the California Constitution. It's unlawful, and in defending the Constitution and the independence of judges, we are protecting the rights of all citizens."