A public outcry is currently doing the rounds online after Judge Aaron Persky of Santa Clara rendered a “lenient” verdict against Brock Turner over sexual assault charges.
The issue stemmed from a sex assault case filed against Turner, 20, for sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman inside the campus in 2015. The woman, who remains anonymous as shown in court records, said that the damage has been done, and no amount of judgment can undo it.
Turner was a freshman student from Stanford University, the same university where Judge Persky completed his undergraduate and graduate studies. But apart from that commonality, both Turner and Perskey were considered “elite” athletes. Turner was a former member of the Stanford swimming team, while Persky was himself a former lacrosse player in Stanford.
These similarities, according to Michele Dauber, Stanford Law professor, could have contributed to the lenient judgment from Persky, the NBC News reported. For Dauber, it’s possible that Persky was persuaded by their similar background, hence the lenient judgment were not expecting from such offense.
An online petition from Change.org is currently gathering signatures, calling for Persky’s resignation for his perceived bias in giving sentence to Turner. The appeal, which was initiated by a certain Maria Ruiz, has already generated more than half a million signatures as of posting.
Meanwhile, the District Attorney’s office in Santa Clara in a same statement, said Persky’s judgment “does not fit the crime.” It reads that rape is rape, whether it’s committed in or out of the campus.
“The predatory offender has failed to take responsibility, failed to show remorse and failed to tell the truth. The sentence does not factor in the true seriousness of this sexual assault, or the victim’s ongoing trauma. Campus rape is no different than off-campus rape. Rape is rape. And I will prosecute it as such,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in the same statement.