|Judge Aaron Persky|
Members of Congress are joining a growing chorus of people demanding the removal of the judge who handed down a six-month jail sentence to a former Stanford University student who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman.
Over 1 million people signed a petition on Change.org asking the California legislature to start impeachment proceedings for Aaron Persky, the judge in the case. Meanwhile, more than 1 million people have signed separate petitions circulated by UltraViolet and MoveOn.org to ask the California Commission on Judicial Performance to remove Persky from the bench. Organizers spoke with with sexual assault survivors in San Francisco on Friday afternoon.
As the petitions continue to rack up signatures, prospective jurors are also boycotting serving under Judge Aaron Persky, and elected federal officials are adding their support that Persky lose his job.
Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California who sponsored legislation to reform how sexual assaults are handled on college campuses, told The Huffington Post this week that Persky should quit.
“I think he should resign,” Speier said. She added, however, that it’s “a decision for the voters of Santa Clara County to make.”
Of course this is just the latest news in a case that has almost completely taken over social media outlets.
Just in case you have been living in a cave and do not know the story, a Stanford University student, assaulted a female student on the ground outside of a frat party
During the trial the victim read an incredibly personal and heart churning statement to the court:
On January 17th, 2015, it was a quiet Saturday night at home. My dad made some dinner and I sat at the table with my younger sister who was visiting for the weekend. I was working full time and it was approaching my bed time. I planned to stay at home by myself, watch some TV and read, while she went to a party with her friends. Then, I decided it was my only night with her, I had nothing better to do, so why not, there’s a dumb party ten minutes from my house, I would go, dance like a fool, and embarrass my younger sister. On the way there, I joked that undergrad guys would have braces. My sister teased me for wearing a beige cardigan to a frat party like a librarian. I called myself “big mama”, because I knew I’d be the oldest one there. I made silly faces, let my guard down, and drank liquor too fast not factoring in that my tolerance had significantly lowered since college.
The next thing I remember I was in a gurney in a hallway. I had dried blood and bandages on the backs of my hands and elbow. I thought maybe I had fallen and was in an admin office on campus. I was very calm and wondering where my sister was. A deputy explained I had been assaulted. I still remained calm, assured he was speaking to the wrong person. I knew no one at this party. When I was finally allowed to use the restroom, I pulled down the hospital pants they had given me, went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing. I still remember the feeling of my hands touching my skin and grabbing nothing. I looked down and there was nothing. The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my vagina and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced. I still don’t have words for that feeling. In order to keep breathing, I thought maybe the policemen used scissors to cut them off for evidence.
Despite the fact that the statement left the courtroom in tears, the Judge Aaron Persky, a former student at Stanford himself, only gave the attacker, Brock Turner, a six month sentence because "A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him."
Which seems more than fair.
Just yesterday the Daily Mail revealed that not only did this Brock Turner drug and rape this young woman, he also sent nude pictures of her to his friends:Stanford rapist Brock Turner sent a photo of his victim's breasts to friends after the attack outside a frat house party.
To be honest since this was receiving so much attention I was going to take a pass on covering it.
But the more I read, the angrier I became, and I eventually realized that it is a story that really everybody needs to publicize in order to help send a message to punk kids like this Brock Turner, and incompetent judges like this Aaron Persky, that the world is watching you.
And that world demands justice.