A California agency that oversees judicial discipline ruled Monday that Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky committed no misconduct when he sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexually assaulting a young woman, reports the AP. The California Commission on Judicial Performance "has concluded that there is not clear and convincing evidence of bias, abuse of authority, or other basis to conclude that Judge Persky engaged in judicial misconduct warranting discipline," the 11-member panel concluded in its unsigned ruling. The commission said it received thousands of complaints and petitions regarding Persky. Petitions included complaints that Persky "displayed gender bias and failed to take sexual assault of women seriously," and showed favoritism to Turner because Persky was a former Stanford athlete as well.
Turner, 21, was released from jail in September after serving three months. He will be on probation for three years in his native Ohio and is a registered sex offender. Persky is the target of a recall campaign. Turner was convicted of assaulting the woman near a trash bin after they drank heavily at a fraternity party. A jury in March found Turner guilty of three felony sexual assault counts. Persky sentenced him to six months in jail, citing the "extraordinary circumstances" of Turner's youth, clean criminal record and other considerations in departing from the minimum sentence of two years in prison. Prosecutors had argued for six years. Turner's case exploded on social media and ignited a debate about campus rape and the criminal justice system after the victim's 7,200-word letter that she read in the courtroom during sentencing was published online.