More than 637,000 people have signed a petition calling for Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky to be removed from his judicial position after he sentenced a student to six months for sexually assaulting a woman outside a party.
Brock Turner, 20, was convicted of three felony sexual assault counts on an unconscious woman for the January 2015 attack.
Speaking about his sentencing decision, Judge Persky said he believed Turner would not be a danger to others, claiming that 'a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him'.
Writing on her petition, Maria Ruiz said: “Despite a unanimous guilty verdict, three felony convictions, the objections of 250 Stanford students, Jeff Rosen the district attorney for Santa Clara, as well as the deputy district attorney who likened Turner to "a predator searching for prey" Judge Persky allowed the lenient sentence suggested by the probation department.
“Turner has shown no remorse and plans to attempt to overturn his conviction. Judge Persky failed to see that the fact that Brock Turner is a white male star athlete at a prestigious university does not entitle him to leniency.
“He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors.”
Maria is also encouraging signers to make a formal complaint about Judge Pesky to the state of California.
The prosecutor in the case Alaleh Kianerci called the sentence a ‘travesty’ and a ‘slap on the wrist’.
District attorney Jeff Rosen was disappointed the judge did not sentence Turner to prison.
He said: “The punishment does not fit the crime,” he said in a statement. “The sentence does not a 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.’
For more about this campaign go to change.org/stanfordassault or email firstname.lastname@example.org