GOP lawmaker calls for removal of judge in Stanford rape case
© Greg Nash

A former judge turned House Republican is calling for the removal of the California judge critics said imposed a light sentence in the Stanford sexual assault case.

Rep. Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeCook shifts two House GOP seats closer to Dem column Five races to watch in the Texas runoffs Five Republican run-offs to watch in Texas MORE (R-Texas) took to the House floor Thursday morning to call for Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky’s removal from the bench. 

“The judge should be removed,” Poe said, adding that Persky “got it wrong.”


Persky handed down a sentence of six months in county jail after Brock Turner, 20, was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a fraternity party. The judge said that he was concerned a longer jail sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner’s life.

Poe argued that an appeals court should change the sentence, which Turner is appealing, and make it harsher.

“The rapist should do more time for the dastardly deed that he did that night,” Poe said. “I hope the appeals court does grant the appeal and make it right and overturn the pathetic sentence, and give him the punishment he deserves.”

The victim read a more than 7,000-word statement directly to Turner at the sentencing hearing last week. The woman, who has chosen not to make her identity public, gave her statement to BuzzFeed.

The case has since garnered national attention, with the victim's full emotional statement getting more than 13 million views on Buzzfeed in the last six days.

“Victims like this remarkable woman must know that society and the justice system are on their side. Too often, the focus is on defending and protecting and excusing sex offenders like Brock Turner,” Poe said.

Poe also tore into Turner’s father, who wrote a letter to the judge arguing that the verdict was “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”

“Clearly, Brock is a chip off the old block and daddy will never be named father of the year,” Poe said.

Public outrage over the sentence has led to an effort to recall the judge. More than 860,000 people have signed a petition calling for Persky to be removed 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,” the petition states.

A short time after Poe's remarks, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) spent most of a five-minute House floor speech reading from the victim's statement.

“How fast Brock swims does not lessen the severity of what happened to me, and should not lessen the severity of his punishment. If a first time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be? The fact that Brock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class,” Speier read.

Poe also delivered a portion of the victim's statement and asked that its entirety be published in the Congressional Record.

“My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice,” Poe read aloud.