Judge Aaron Persky is stepping down from his role in trying criminal cases in Santa Clara County after months of controversy over a lenient sentence in the high-profile sexual assault conviction of Stanford athlete Brock Turner.
Rise Jones Pichon, presiding judge of the Santa Clara County Superior Court, said in a statement this evening that although he firmly believes in Persky’s ability to serve in his current role – Persky requested reassignment to the civil division.
“Judge Perky believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment.”
Starting Sept. 6, Persky will be hearing matters in Department 22 in the Old Courthouse in San Jose, Pichon said. Judge Vincent Chiarello will be assigned to Department 89 in Palo Alto.
Assignment changes are typically implemented in January, but Pichon said this move was possible due to a request from Chiarello to relocate.