California judge who was recalled for his light sentence of Brock Turner is now asking his supporters to pay his $135,000 in legal fees

  • Aaron Persky was recalled from his judgeship over the summer after his California community became outraged over the lenient sentence he gave convicted sexual assaulter Brock Turner.
  • Now, the former judge is calling on his supporters to help pay the $135,000 he owes in legal fees.
  • Persky was the first judge to be recalled in the state in 86 years.

The California judge who was ousted from office for his lenient sentencing of convicted sexual assaulter Brock Turner is now asking his supporters to help him pay his legal fees.

Former Superior Court judge Aaron Persky came under fire in June 2016 when he sentenced Turner to just six months in prison after the Stanford University student was found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a frat party on campus. Turner ended up serving just three months.

A few months after the controversial sentencing, Stanford Law professor Michele Dauber started a campaign to have Persky recalled. That effort proved fruitful this past June, when more than 60% of Santa Clara County voters voted to kick Persky out of office. It was the first time in 86 years that a California judge had been ousted from the job before their term was up.

Read more: Brock Turner is set to be released from jail Friday after serving half of his sentence

As part of the recall, Persky must now pay the $130,000 in legal fees that Dauber’s team incurred during the recall effort. Instead of paying the fee himself, Persky sent out one last email to his supporters (a copy of which was obtained by the Mercury News) asking them to donate to his campaign so he could use the funds to pay off the bill.

“My campaign committee has spent all its resources fighting the recall, and now must pay $135,000 to satisfy the attorney fees order, which is due by December 31,” the email read, in part. “I am writing to ask you to make a contribution to that effort.”

According to the Mercury News, Persky collected more than $840,000 in campaign donations but spent it all trying to block the recall effort.

James McManis, whose law firm represented Persky for free during the ordeal, defended the call for donations to the Mercury News.

“There’s nothing wrong with asking people, and people will pay or they won’t,” McManis said. “I hope this works out for him. He’s been punished more than enough.”