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Activists Demand Removal Of Judge In Stanford Sexual Assault Case

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A group of activists protested outside the State Building in San Francisco Wednesday, calling for an investigation of the judge who handed down the light sexual assault sentence to a former Stanford swimmer.

The California Commission on Judicial Performance met in San Francisco for the first time since Judge Aaron Persky's decision in the Brock Turner sex assault case and the anonymous victim's letter to her assailant set off a global firestorm of controversy.

Persky has been under fire for sentencing Turner to only six months in jail and three years probation.

The meeting of the Commission on Judicial Performance is closed to the public, but a group rallied outside hoping their message gets through.


Members of the activist group Ultraviolet who are survivors of sexual assault shared their stories on the sidewalk Wednesday morning. The group says they have a flash drive with 1.2 million signatures asking the independent state agency that investigates judicial misconduct to investigate Judge Persky.

"We hope that they will hear us and agree with us and remove Judge Persky," said Melissa Byrne of Ultraviolet.

The judge handed down his sentence of six months for Turner after the prosecutor asked for six years.

"The judge is like, 'You know what? It's fine.' It's not fine. It's really not fine," said sexual assault survivor Ruby Louise Elson. "Because one in four women at college will be raped."

There is already a petition to recall Judge Persky and the local district attorney says he's considering blocking all sexual assault cases assigned to Persky's court.

The Commission can't change a decision made by judge, but it can remove a judge from office. The commission gets about 1,200 complaints of judicial misconduct a year.

In the wake of the high-profile Stanford ruling, the State Senate Public Safety Committee this week unanimously passed a bill to ensure that anyone convicted of sexual assault in California cannot be sentenced to probation.

However, the bill is not a done deal yet.

It heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for a hearing in August.

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