Since Santa Clara County, California, Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky handed down a six-month sentence for a convicted rapist, over 300,000 people have signed a petition to have him fired.
Brock Turner, a 20-year-old Stanford University student, was convicted of "assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object," reports the Daily Mail.
Publicity of the case has grown in large part because of the speech delivered by the 23-year-old victim at Turner’s sentencing hearing during the week of May 30. A copy of the speech, which she gave to BuzzFeed for publication, might be one of the most powerful condemnations of rape ever published.
The still-anonymous victim describes waking up at the hospital after the assault:
I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.
She said she had no memory of the attack and described how she learned about what had actually happened to her:
One day, I was at work, scrolling through the news on my phone, and came across an article. In it, I read and learned for the first time about how I was found unconscious, with my hair disheveled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, that I was butt naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart, and had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognize. This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work.
Her testimony has been viewed online more than six million times as of June 7, according to the Daily Mail, spurring the petition protesting the convicted rapist’s lenient sentence.
As of June 7, over 310,000 people have signed the petition on Change.org, and it will reportedly be sent to the California State House and the California State Senate.
The petition notes that California judges can be removed in one of three ways. They can either be impeached by the state assembly and convicted by the state senate, subjected to a recall election, or removed by a judicial performance commission. In the third case, the commission would have to agree to remove a judge after investigating complaints of judicial misconduct.