Commission finds no evidence of misconduct by judge who sentenced Stanford swimmer

A state commission announced Monday that it has found no evidence of misconduct and is closing its case on the judge who sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer to six months in jail for sexual assault.

The Commission on Judicial Performance said the sentence given by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky to Brock Turner “was within the parameters set by law and was therefore within the judge’s discretion.”

The agency said it found no evidence of bias by the judge and that the sentence was consistent with the recommendation of a probation report.

The San Francisco-based commission investigates complaints of judicial misconduct such as corruption and abuse of authority and has the power to impose punishments ranging from censure to removal from office.

It announced its decision in an unusual 12-page explanatory statement.

The commission said it had received thousands of complaints and petitions concerning Persky, whose sentence sparked international publicity, criticism and outrage for being too lenient.

But the agency said, “The commission has concluded that there is not clear and convincing evidence of bias, abuse of authority or any other basis to conclude that Judge Persky engaged in judicial misconduct warranting discipline.”

Turner, 21, a former member of the Stanford swim team, was convicted in March of three felony counts of assault against a woman who was unconscious from intoxication in a field outside a fraternity house at the university.

The three counts were assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person with a foreign object.

Turner was freed for good behavior after serving about three months of his six-month sentence. Persky also sentenced him to three years of probation.

Turner is also subject to lifetime registration as a sex offender.

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