Stanford Judge Removed From Subsequent Sexual Assault Case

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Aaron Persky, the judge in the Stanford rape case, has been removed from presiding over another sexual assault case, NBC’s Bay Area affiliate reports.

The Santa Clara District Attorney's Office filed a motion to disqualify Persky from the trial on Tuesday. In the new case, an anesthetized female patient was sexually assaulted by her male nurse. Later Tuesday, the court’s administrative judge sided with the DA’s office and removed Persky for the trial.

However, the removal apparently had nothing to do with the Stanford case and everything to do with a subsequent misdemeanor mail theft case Persky heard just after. The judge made the seemingly curious decision to dismiss the case and the jury because the prosecution had not convinced him that a crime had taken place.

“We are disappointed and puzzled at Judge Persky’s unusual decision to unilaterally dismiss a case before the jury could deliberate,” the DA’s office said in a statement. “After this and the recent turn of events, we lack confidence that Judge Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing in which a male nurse sexually assaulted an anesthetized female patient. This is a rare and carefully considered step for our Office. In the future, we will evaluate each case on its own merits and decide if we should use our legal right to ask for another judge in order to protect public safety and pursue justice.”

But there has been severe blowback related to the Stanford case. Several potential jurors have said that they couldn’t serve on cases on which Persky is presiding.

The judge just won a new six-year term last Tuesday, as he ran unopposed. But he has come under heavy fire, most recently from a juror on the case. Several petitions calling for Persky’s removal have amounted to nearly a million combined signatures.

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