The California judge that sentenced Brock Turner for sexually assaulting a woman at Stanford has received threats, it was reported on June 8.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky handed Turner, a Stanford University swimmer, a sentence that critics say is too light—6 months in prison and 3 years probation.
Persky, following the recommendation of the county’s probation department, sentenced Turner on June 2. He cited Turner’s clean criminal record and the impact the conviction will have on his life in the sentencing. The former swimmer must register for life as a sex offender after a jury convicted him of three felony counts of assault and attempted rape.
Now, the judge and his family are facing threats.
Gary Goodman, a deputy public defender with the county, told NBC News that “more than a handful” of anonymous individuals have called court staff with insulting or threatening comments.
“A lot of them are extremely rude and are just horrible and horrific … ‘I hope you die and your family gets raped,’ things of that nature,” said Goodman. “You’ve got to be out of your mind to talk that way.”
The FBI is aware of the calls, as well as the outrage that has flooded social media.
This is Judge Aaron Persky…because people need to know his name and face as well as Brock Turner’s. pic.twitter.com/63GvXjsfsY
— Donna Hosie (@donnahosie) June 7, 2016
“People have been calling the court and leaving messages, and if someone answers, they say, ‘Tell your judge he can go to hell, and I hope his kids get raped and he rots in hell,'” said Goodman to the New York Times. “He’s getting threats over this, him and his family, from all over the country. Is that right?”
Meanwhile, a recall effort against the judge is underway, and a petition was launched for Persky’s removal from the bench.
“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,” said the petition.
“He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors.”
The petition, started by Stanford University law professor Michele Dauber, a friend of the victim, had nearly 630,00 supporters by June 8.
The judge earned two undergraduate degrees from Stanford in 1984 and 1985 and used to play lacrosse at the school a few miles down the road from his courtroom.