POLITICS

Judge recalled over Brock Turner sentence fired as girls’ high school tennis coach

Judge recalled over Brock Turner sentence fired as girls’ high school tennis coach

The California judge who was recalled after handing down a sentence seen as too lenient for Stanford swimmer Brock Turner and who worked briefly as a Bay Area high school coach has been fired from that job, the district announced Wednesday.

Former Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky was hired as a girls’ tennis coach at Lynbrook High School in San Jose earlier this year, NBC Bay Area reported this week.

On Wednesday, the Fremont Union High School District said that Persky’s “employment with the District as the Junior Varsity Girls Tennis coach has ended.”

“We believe this outcome is in the best interest of our students and school community,” the district said in a statement.

Persky said in a statement to NBC Bay Area that he was fired and told that the decision stemmed from a desire to spare players from potentially intrusive media attention.

The former judge said in his statement that while he was disappointed, “it was a privilege to coach the team, if only for a short time.”

Persky was recalled by voters in June 2018 after he was blasted for handing down a six-month sentence for Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer convicted in the sexual assault of an unconscious woman behind a campus trash bin, in 2016.

Turner was convicted of three felonies — two for digitally penetrating an unconscious or intoxicated person and one for assault with intent to commit rape. Prosecutors pushed for a six-year sentence in state prison, but Persky followed the county probation department’s recommendation of just six months in jail.

Persky said that he was following the rule of law, not public opinion, when he imposed the sentence. Turner was released for good behavior after serving three months, and he must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Critics said the sentence discounted the seriousness of sexual assault on campuses and the pain endured by the victim.

An appeals court in August 2018 upheld Turner’s sexual assault and attempted rape convictions, after he filed an appeal arguing that the evidence presented at trial did not support his convictions, the Associated Press reported at the time.

The unanimous appellate panel found that Turner did receive a fair trial and that there was “substantial evidence” to support his conviction on the three charges.

The victim in the case, who read a searing statement at Turner’s sentencing, last week revealed her identity. Chanel Miller had been known in legal proceedings as “Jane Doe” but identifies herself in a memoir, “Know My Name,” scheduled to be released Sept. 24.

Phil Helsel

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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