Voters recalled from office the California judge who sparked national outrage in 2016 after sentencing Brock Turner who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious student, a mere six months in jail, according to Reuters.
With 43 percent of county precincts reporting, 59 percent of voters supported the recall of Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, while 41 percent opposed the recall, a victory for the Recall Judge Aaron Persky Campaign.
"Tonight many, many voters voted against the culture of impunity for high-status perpetrators of sexual assault or domestic violence," Michele Dauber, a Stanford University professor and chair of the recall campaign, said. "This election expresses clearly that sexual assault, sexual violence is serious and it has to be taken seriously by elected officials. It’s a historical moment when women across all sectors of society are standing up saying, 'Enough is enough.'"
The recall campaign was fueled by an open letter from the victim, who remains anonymous, detailing the ordeal in graphic terms.
“You have dragged me through this hell with you, dipped me back into that night again and again,” the letter reads. “You knocked down both our towers. I collapsed at the same time you did. Your damage was concrete, stripped of titles, degrees, enrollment. My damage was internal, unseen. I carry it with me.”
Prosecutors argued for a six-year sentence. Persky said he took the victim's statement into account and sentenced Turner to six months in jail and three years’ probation in June 2016, saying "A prison sentence would have a severe impact on [Turner]."
Turner was released after three months. He was required to register as a sex offender in his home state of Ohio.
Predating the #MeToo movement of women speaking out publicly against sexual harassment and abuse, the outcome of the Turner case became a symbol of how the U.S. justice system fails to take sex crimes seriously enough. ... California's judicial oversight commission received thousands of complaints about the sentencing but concluded in its report that Persky was unbiased and acted in accordance with a probation report.
The vote marked the first time a California judge was recalled from the bench in 87 years.