The under-fire judge who sentenced Brock Turner is at the center of another controversy after he was accused of giving a 'lenient' punishment to a college athlete who attacked his girlfriend.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky was criticized earlier this year after handing down the Stanford rapist a six month prison sentence despite the fact he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman behind a dumpster.
Now it has emerged that the same judge also agreed to a plea deal last year in the case of San Mateo College football player Keenan Smith who admitted attacking his girlfriend and punching a bystander who tried to protect her.
The deal saw the running back's charges reduced to misdemeanors and he was ordered to complete a 52-week domestic violence program and put in 28 days on the jail’s weekend work crew.
However, the 20-year-old had failed to adhere to the terms of his plea bargain and was brought back to court yesterday in an unusual step after Stanford law professor Michele Dauber alerted the District Attorney's office to the case.
It comes after Dauber had been trying to recall Judge Persky for his role in the Brock Turner case and what she believes is his preferential treatment to sportsmen and disregard for violence against women.
At the hearing yesterday, Smith was ordered to spend eight weekends in jail after being sentenced by a different judge.
And Dauber believes the new stiffer sentence handed out today shows how Persky's original sentence was too lenient.
She told the Mercury News: 'Today's hearing was just more evidence that Judge Persky sent the message that playing football was more important than violence against women.'
However, Smith's lawyer argued against Dauber saying it is important to rehabilitate low-level offenders outside of jail.
Judge Persky refused to comment on the case as it is still ongoing.
The judge first came under fire earlier this year in the Brock Turner case when he was accused of handing out a sentence that was too lenient.
Turner, a college swimmer, was convicted in March of three felony counts for the 2015 sexual assault of a woman at a fraternity party at Stanford University where he was a freshman student at the time.
The 20-year-old faced a maximum possible sentence of 14 years in prison, and prosecutors were seeking a six year sentence in the case.
But Persky, himself a former captain of Stanford's lacrosse team, followed a recommendation from probation officials and handed down a six month sentence, which then saw Turner released in as little as three months.
At the hearing, Persky stated that the woman's life has been 'poisoned by the assault,' but countered that a state prison sentence for Turner would not be 'an antidote for that poison.'
He said that he considered the fact that Turner did not have any previous convictions when he sentenced him to six months.
In addition, Persky also said he considered Turner's age, the fact that he wasn't armed during the rape, that he didn't portray criminal sophistication, would follow probation orders and would not be a danger to others if he wasn't imprisoned.
Original article posted by The Daily Mail
By Jennifer Newton
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