Policy

Ted Poe Passes Judgment on Stanford Rape Case

Former prosecutor wants judge removed, longer sentence for assailant

Texas Rep. Ted Poe said the penalty for rape "should be longer than a semester in college." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Ted Poe Thursday called for the removal of the California judge involved in the case of a Stanford student convicted of rape, arguing that there’s been a miscarriage.  

The judge, Aaron Persky, last week sentenced 20-year-old Brock Turner to serve six months in jail and three months of probation for sexually assaulting an unidentified woman last January.  

“Mr. Speaker, the punishment for rape should be longer than a semester in college,” Poe, a former county prosecutor said on the House floor.  

Critics have threatened  Persky, a judge on the Santa Clara County Superior Court, for his leniency, and Turner’s father, Dan Turner, has come under fire for a line in a letter defending  his son that was criticized as portraying him as a victim.  

[ Ted Poe Has a History With the Lone Ranger ]  

Poe said he has no sympathy for either.  

“In this case, the court and the defendant’s father wanted a pass for the rapist because he was as big shot swimmer. The judge should be removed,” the Texas Republican said. “The entitlement mentality, being a good college athlete and self-righteousness do not trump justice.”  

Poe held out hope that Turner would try to push the issue further — and lose.  

“I hope the appeals court does grant the appeal and make it right and overturn the pathetic sentence and give him the punishment he deserves,” Poe said.

Contact Rojas at  warrenrojas@rollcall.com   and follow him on Twitter  @WARojas .

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