In 2015 20-year-old Brock Turner raped a 22-year-old woman behind a dumpster at a university in California while she was unconscious. Two men riding bicycles (Peter Jonsson and Carl-Fredrik Arndt) saw him, confronted him and held him until the police arrived. When Turner was arrested the judge released him on a US$150,000 bail. Turner was eventually found guilty of three felony charges of sexual assault, however, the judge, Aaron Persky, decided to sentence Turner to just six months imprisonment and three years’ probation. A Stanford University law professor, Michele Dauber, launched a campaign to have the sentencing judge removed from the bench, and her petition had gathered over 1 million signatures by mid-June, 2016. The maximum sentence Turner could have received was 14 years’ imprisonment. The Washington Post reported, “He faced up to 14 years in prison. Prosecutors asked for six. Instead, Turner received only six months in jail and three years of probation after a judge worried that a stiffer sentence would have a ‘severe impact’ on the 20-year-old.”
Yesterday, two years after sentencing Brock Turner, judge Aaron Persky was removed from office. The Santa Clara judge is the first American judge to be recalled in decades. Community leaders running the campaign to have Persky removed needed to get 20% of the voting electorate to sign a petition, which they did. Next countywide elections were held, yesterday. Voters decided Persky was no longer needed to serve justice in their county. It is safe to say that many women are thrilled about Persky’s removal from the bench. Women everywhere are sick of our rape cultures and are fighting hard to change the status quo.
 The Washington Post, ‘A steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action’: Dad defends Stanford sex offender, June 6, 2016, Michael E. Miller
© 2018 Alline Cormier