Would-Be Jurors Boycotting Stanford Rape Judge

He's also accused of siding with suspects in teen gang-rape case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2016 5:04 AM CDT
Jurors Are Boycotting Stanford Sex Case Judge
This January 2015 booking photo released by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office shows Brock Turner.   (Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office via AP)

The judge in the Stanford rape case isn't just facing a petition to get him off the bench—he's become so unpopular that potential jurors are bailing. KPIX reports that on Wednesday, some 20 potential jurors refused to serve on a jury in an unrelated stolen-goods case under Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky. "I can't believe what you did," one woman told Persky, referring to his lenient sentence for Stanford sex attacker Brock Turner, the San Jose Mercury News reports. In other developments:

  • Lawyer Barbara Spector tells the New York Daily News that in a 2011 civil trial over the alleged gang rape of a 17-year-old girl, she felt Persky sided with the group of baseball players accused of raping the girl. Spector says Persky allowed lawyers for the defendants to show Facebook photos of the girl wearing revealing clothing months after the incident because they argued the photos showed she did not have PTSD.

  • Persky has his defenders, who say he is fair-minded and not a man known for issuing harsh sentences—or bowing to public pressure. He has "a reputation for being a thoughtful jurist and he has been fair and decent to our clients, many of whom come from poor socioeconomic backgrounds," a public defender in Santa Clara tells the Guardian.
  • In an open letter to Turner's victim published on BuzzFeed, Joe Biden praises her "breathtaking" bravery and "solid steel spine." "Your story has already changed lives," he writes. "You have helped change the culture. You have shaken untold thousands out of the torpor and indifference towards sexual violence that allows this problem to continue."
  • Rep. Ted Poe, a former prosecutor and judge from Texas, read portions of the victim's searing court statement in the House yesterday and called for voters to recall Persky, the Dallas Morning News reports. "This judge got it wrong. There is an archaic philosophy in some courts that sin ain't sin as long as good folk do it," said Poe, a Republican. "The judge should be removed. The rapist should do more time for the dastardly deed he did that night."
  • The Huffington Post reports that on the evening of June 15, lawmakers from both parties will spend an hour reading the Stanford victim's statement in full in the House.
(Turner may be freed after serving just half of his six-month sentence.)

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