After his sentencing (or lack thereof) of the “Stanford rapist,” Brock Turner, Judge Aaron Persky has decided to stop trying criminal cases, CNN reports.
The judge faced heavy criticism when he settled for sentencing Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, to only six months in jail. According to CNN, the recommended sentencing was six years in prison for the crime.
After Turner’s case received national attention, Judge Persky claimed that he doesn’t want other cases to be similarly scrutinized, thus, he feels compelled to step down. He will be working on civil cases starting Sept. 6.
“While I firmly believe in Judge Persky's ability to serve in his current assignment, he has requested to be assigned to the civil division, in which he previously served,” Presiding Judge Risë Jones Pinchon told CNN.
“Judge Persky believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment,” Pinchon continued.
Despite his willingness to cease work in criminal cases, many sexual assault activists are still unhappy, according to ABC 7 News.
“We are relieved that Judge Persky will not be handling criminal cases, at least temporarily,” Michele Dauber, head of the Recall Judge Persky Campaign, told CNN. “However, he will still be a judge, and judges rotate annually in our county. He can still transfer back to hearing criminal cases any time he chooses.”