Death threats for Stanford sex assault judge

Judge Aaron Persky (Twitter)
Judge Aaron Persky (Twitter)

The Californian judge who sentenced Stanford University sex offender Brock Turner to six months' jail and three years' probation has had death threats made against him.

Turner's victim, who remains unnamed, said in a statement that has since gone viral that the sentence handed out by Judge Aaron Persky is a "soft time-out, a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults, an insult to me and all women".

That opinion has been backed up by many since the statement garnered international attention, with thousands complaining of the leniency shown to Turner despite the seriousness of his crime -- particularly in light of reports that his jail term is likely to be halved.

A deputy public defender who works with Judge Persky told NBC News that "more than a handful" of angry callers had been phoning his courtroom with threatening messages.

"A lot of them are extremely rude and are just horrible and horrific ... I hope you die and your family gets raped, things of that nature," Gary Goodman said.

At least 10 prospective jurors are also said to have refused to sit in on another of Judge Persky's cases since his sentencing of Turner, according to multiple sources.

Judge Persky is said to have thanked each person who refused and excused them from jury duty without argument.

An online petition calling for Judge Persky's removal from his judicial position has attracted over a million signatures, though is unlikely to have any real effect.

The case drew widespread attention after a letter read out by the 23-year-old sexual assault victim detailed her trauma and addressed her attacker directly at the conclusion of his trial.

The victim, who is unnamed, was attacked in January 2015. Brock Turner, who assaulted her, was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault in March this year.

Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner carried out the sexual assault in a public place while the victim was unconscious, and was only stopped when two Swedish cyclists witnessed the attack and tackled a fleeing Turner to the ground.

He was given what has been seen by many as a paltry sentence of six months' prison and probation, amid fears that a longer sentence would have a "severe impact" on him.