Palo Alto, CA --- The Recall Judge Persky Campaign cites another case that demonstrates Judge Aaron Persky’s bias in cases involving violence against women. Judge Persky sentenced Cisco Systems engineer Tony Chiang of Sunnyvale to “weekend jail” following his conviction for a brutal felony aggravated battery against his then-fiancé. Persky again did not take into account the pleas by the victim in court who strongly objected to such a light sentence.
According to the police report, Chiang punched his fiancé in the face more than 10 times, dragged her by the hair, and her nose and mouth were “smothered in blood.” Neighbors called the police upon hearing her screams. The police arrived to find her bleeding and hysterical and screaming “he hit me nonstop, he was trying to kill me.”
“Judge Persky’s dismissive treatment of the victim of Tony Chiang demonstrates that the Brock Turner case was clearly not an isolated incident. This is another case of violence against women where Persky chose to ignore the pleas of the victim of gender-based violence in favor of a privileged defendant, in this case an elite engineer in the tech industry. Persky’s bias sends a chilling message to women across the county, state and country that sexual assault and violence against women is not important.
“Judge Persky did not have to accept this plea agreement. Judges in California are permitted to play a mediating role in plea negotiations and they routinely do so in order to ensure a just result. His job is not to rubber-stamp whatever paper he is given. His job is to ensure that justice is done. And once again, Judge Persky has failed to do that job.”
“We are saying enough is enough. We are committed to recalling Judge Persky. Under the California Constitution, the voters of Santa Clara County have the right to decide if they want Judge Persky to serve another six years.”
The Guardian reported this morning (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/01/sexual-assault-case-brock-turner-judge-aaron-persky) that Judge Persky sentenced Tony Chiang, who had faced up to 4 years in prison for the aggravated battery against his former fiance to just 72 days of weekend jail (with reductions for time served, fewer than a dozen weekends). The victim made a moving statement to the court strongly objecting to this lenient sentence. She also held up blown-up copies of the crime scene photos of her severe facial injuries and argued to Judge Persky that the sentence was not just given the crime.
The Guardian interviewed the victim known as Jane Doe. Excerpts of the article are included:
“Is this acceptable?” Jane Doe said, her voice shaking, as she described the “torture” she faced while displaying the photos to the entire courtroom. Most audience members had showed up for the sentencing of Brock Turner, a former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault. Several gasped at the horrific images; some covered their eyes.
“Visible injuries can be treated, but invisible injuries sometimes can last forever,” the woman said during her passionate testimony….
…“It’s just like the Stanford case,” she said, noting that Chiang – a well-paid and highly educated engineer – was also a privileged defendant who could afford a private lawyer…
…“As the victim, when I get beaten, can I ask for a better offer? Can I ask for a ‘discount’ beating?” she said. “There’s no opportunity for me to negotiate.”
When she read her lengthy statement in court, the woman struggled at times, since English is not her first language. On multiple occasions, Persky asked her to speed up and finish her remarks.
After she concluded, Persky said little about her speech. Instead, the judge and Chiang’s lawyer discussed the timing of jail in what appeared to be an effort to ensure that the defendant would be released each weekend in time for work on Monday.
This sentence is another case in which Persky did whatever possible to reduce the sentence over the objections of the victim.
As a part of the national outrage of Persky’s sentence of Brock Turner, people are mobilizing and supporting the recall efforts. Tonight in Brooklyn GRLCVLT NYC is holding a fundraiser in partnership with the recall campaign. The first benefit show in Brooklyn is on August 1st at 6:00pm at Baby's All Right in Williamsburg, featuring a speech by actress Rose McGowan, a poetry reading by poet and actor Amber Tamblyn, musical performances by Madame Gandhi, The Skins, The New Tarot, Edith Pop, and a set by DJ Night Doll. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. All proceeds will go to the Campaign to Unseat Judge Aaron Persky. Tickets can be purchased here.
** PREVIEW: The official Recall Judge Aaron Persky campaign will be holding a rally on September 2 with congressional members, local elected leaders, prominent women organizations and leaders. Stay tuned for more details.
***NOTE: The official Recall Judge Aaron Persky campaign is not affiliated with online petition efforts.
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The official Recall Judge Aaron Persky campaign is dedicated to collecting the signatures needed to place Judge Persky on the ballot in 2017. Santa Clara County voters have the right to decide whether Judge Persky should continue to serve on the bench for the next six years. The campaign has been endorsed by prominent federal, state, local elected officials and many prominent leaders and organizations. A partial list includes: Congressemember Eric Swalwell, Congressmember Jerry McNerney, Congressmember Karen Bass, Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, Senator Bob Wieckowski, Senator Jim Beall, Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, Assemblymember Kansen Chu, Assemblymember Nora Campos, Board of Equalization Chairwoman Fiona Ma, Feminist Majory, National Organization for Women, Advocates for Youth, The National Women's Political Caucus of Silicon Valley, Amy Ziering, Producer of The Hunting Ground and Invisible War, Kirby Dick, Director of The Hunting Ground and Invisible War, Christine Pelosi, Attorney, Author and Activist. For more information about the recall, please go to www.recallaaronpersky.com.
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