District attorney endorses judge facing recall

Persky's supporters include law school deans, justices, judges

Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky, the embattled judge whose controversial sentencing of former Stanford University student Brock Turner made waves across the globe last year, has received a high-profile endorsement in his fight to retain his seat on the bench from the county's district attorney, Jeff Rosen.

Rosen tops a partial list of endorsements posted on Persky's official retain campaign website, launched in response to a high-profile recall campaign working to unseat him. He has also been endorsed by California law school deans, law professors, retired Supreme Court justices, presiding and retired Court of Appeals justices, dozens of sitting judges, public defenders, attorneys. Two former district attorneys, Dolores Carr and George Kennedy, have also endorsed Persky, according to the list.

Stanford law professor and Palo Alto resident Michele Dauber started the recall effort in the wake of Persky's sentencing decision in the Turner case — six months in county jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on the Stanford campus in 2015.

While Rosen has criticized the sentencing itself, he has previously said that he "had the legal right to give it" and should not be removed from the bench.

A spokesperson for the district attorney's office declined an interview request. In a statement provided to the Weekly, Rosen said his "allegiance" is to Emily Doe, the young woman who was assaulted by Turner, and all victims of campus sexual assault.

"My office and I have worked to raise national awareness by organizing a campus sexual assault symposium, crafting a ground-breaking protocol on how colleges and law enforcement handle such assaults, and changing state law to ensure that future perpetrators are sentenced to prison," he said in the statement. "The legacy of Emily Doe's courage is fewer sexual assault victims and more compassion for sexual assault survivors."

His office declined to comment further.

In a statement, Dauber pointed to a decision Rosen made the week after the Turner sentencing to disqualify Persky from hearing an unrelated sexual-assault case, stating at the time that "we lack confidence that Judge Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing."

The next month, Persky requested to be reassigned to civil cases in the San Jose courthouse, where he now presides.

"Would DA Rosen welcome Judge Persky back to criminal court after Rosen disqualified him from presiding over a sexual assault case?" Dauber asked. "I strongly suspect that the answer is 'no.'

"But matters involving sexual assault and domestic abuse are heard in civil, family and juvenile court all the time," she continued. "Victims in those courts also deserve a judge who can be unbiased and fair in their cases."

The Recall Persky campaign's website has its own partial list of high-profile endorsements, including Congress members, Bay Area elected officials, the National Organization for Women, activists, law professors and others.

The campaign recently decided to delay placing the recall on the ballot until next summer due to the high cost of mounting a special election this November.

Cindy Hendrickson, an assistant district attorney on District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s executive team, confirmed to the Weekly Monday that she plans to run for Persky's seat.

"The people of Santa Clara County should get to decide whether Judge Persky continues to serve them as a Superior Court Judge for the next five years," she wrote in an email. "The people have a meaningful choice only if there is a qualified candidate in the alternative."

The Palo Alto Weekly has a Storify page that captures ongoing coverage of the Brock Turner case and related issues, including the recall campaign. To view it, go to


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17 people like this
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 10, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Perhaps of interest, a 9 March 2017 opinion piece in the SJ Mercury entitled 'Why Recalling Judge Persky is Wrong':
Web Link

57 people like this
Posted by How Can He Do This??
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 10, 2017 at 5:29 pm

I don't know how ANYONE can let Persky get away with the mere slaps on wrists he has given perpetrators of sexual assaults and domestic abusers!

However, certain universities have those good ole boy networks, certain law schools and medical schools do, too, and most of their graduates cover each others' butts!

44 people like this
Posted by Not A Stanford Alum
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 10, 2017 at 5:34 pm

This move by Jeff Rosen makes one thing absolutely clear: The "justice" system in Santa Clara County is rotten to the core.

But I guess personal loyalties count more around these parts...

47 people like this
Posted by Rosen is a politician
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Jeff Rosen is part of the old boy network. He ran promising to re-open the De Anza gang rape case. Remember that? He "stood with" that victim too, using her story to defeat Dolores Carr. Then he never did it. He stood with her just long enough to win the election by promising to get justice for her and then dropped the case like a hot potato. Just like now -- rode this case to political prominence in the hopes of being Attorney General, and when that didn't work out, reversed course and now endorses Persky. He also failed to appeal the sentence even though it was a blatant abuse of discretion. Jeff Rosen does have a special relationship to rape victims which is that he uses them for his own purposes when it is convenient for him and he thinks it will benefit himself. Stands with Emily Doe? More like stands behind her, using her as a shield.

Rosen doesn't want the judges in the county mad at him and the judges don't like the recall. Well no local elected wants to be recalled, but they are accountable and judges are no different at this level. Maybe women prosecutors do not see eye to eye with Rosen. I would not be surprised to learn that at all.

Women are for the recall - including the women in the DA's office. The top ranked woman in his own office, Cindy Hendrickson, is running for Persky's spot and is supporting the recall. That's pretty powerful information.

31 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 10, 2017 at 7:10 pm

I hate these hypocritical endorsements that say the judgement was incompetent by the judge who made it is competent. If you are endorsing the man, then you are endorsing his judgement. That is why he is called a judge. Get it?

47 people like this
Posted by Rosen is a politician
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Here's an article describing how Jeff Rosen ran on a pledge to re-open the De Anza case and then didn't prosecute anyone. Rosen pledged to handle it differently than Carr, and he was her deputy. He knew exactly what was in the investigative file before he ran and the whole time he was making a political issue out of it, he knew that the file would not support re-opening it but he pledged to do it because it was good politics for him to exploit this poor girl's rape. Then he didn't do anything. He never even charged these boys with underage drinking. They got off scott free even though witnesses saw them assaulting an unconscious teenager. One of the boys was the nephew of a Giant's coach and was politically connected.

Exploitative press conference pre-election:

Web Link

Post election not doing anything:

Web Link

Oh, and Judge Persky was the trial judge in their civil trial that exonerated the athletes. Hmmm.

Women have been dealing with DAs like Jeff Rosen forever. We know the type -- "sorry but it's he said she said." Or in the De Anza case, "he said he said he said he said he said he said she said" so no charges.

66 people like this
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 10, 2017 at 10:21 pm

Judge Persky essentially followed and adhered to the rule of law. There is as much if not more to consider in the outcome of this case with state legislation that has reduced sentencing windows for certain offenses as it does with judicial leniency. California voters laid the groundwork for these type of judgments. This is the new norm.

27 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2017 at 7:24 am

Jeff Rosen should not be the DA. Vote him out.

12 people like this
Posted by scatter...
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 11, 2017 at 7:49 am

"Jeff Rosen should not be the DA. Vote him out."

Says it all about the state of the recall campaign.

21 people like this
Posted by stretch
a resident of another community
on Apr 11, 2017 at 4:57 pm

It's hard to believe that any woman would give this guy a thumbs up. There truly is something wrong in a world where this is acceptable behavior.

Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 12, 2017 at 11:06 am

Here is a theory: Rosen's endorsement of Judge Persky is actually not done against the wishes of Michele Dauber who is running the Recall Persky campaign.
Dauber recently issued a statement that she is not going to hold the Recall election in November - it would be the only item on the ballot and cost too much. Rosen does not want the local judges on his butt - of course if he was moving up that would not matter - but he is not moving up any time soon

Rosen goes to Dauber to point out the Recall is dying- really it was ONLY about scaring all judges into giving in to all feminists demands - t was NEVER about Judge Persky being a bad judge - and she got MOST of that - she got the fear - and running the recall, and maybe losing, would actually reduce the fear.

So, Rosen gets Dauber's OK to endorse Persky - BUT, BUT, BUT - Dauber [portion removed] she says she will not make an issue of it - but it turns out, with the recall now scheduled for the same election as Rosen's re-election, Dauber DOES make an issue of it and endorses a woman candidate for DA, and uses the outrage over Persky to get that woman candidate elected. And maybe the Recall goes through anyway -as said, that is secondary - having a DA's head, instead of a judge's head, on her wall is actually a bigger trophy, as they are far, far, far move powerful in the legal system.

31 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 12, 2017 at 1:35 pm

"Giving into feminist demands" -- ?????

Do you have a clue what percentage of women are raped and assaulted in this country? It's about 40% and that's a low number because attitudes like yours prevent women from even bothering to report the crimes against them.

Did you read the in-depth coverage of the San Bernadino teacher killed by her husband who was upset she was going to leave him because he was a violent self-entitled jerk? Those "murder-suicides" happen more than 5 times a day each and every week of the year and are rising. And those are only the ones we know about.

Thank heavens the GOP put those uppity women in their places by killing the Violence Against Women Act.

21 people like this
Posted by Rosen is a politician
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2017 at 9:42 pm

[Portion removed.] Jeffrey Rosen has simply decided to align himself with the county's judges rather than the county's women voters. There is zero possibility that Professor Dauber thought this was "fine." And she has shown no interest in defeating Rosen and no one has ever heard her say anything close to that [portion removed.]

13 people like this
Posted by Shame on Rosen
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 22, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Are you following the case of the repeat offender CEO who's going to get less than a month for terrorizing and abusing his wife for 10 years? The wife recorded the latest assaults and several years ago their horrified mailman called the police to report the wife being assaulted in the middle of the street.

Santa Clara Asst DA Steve Fein explained that reducing the charges led to a plea deal keeps Gattani from being deported back to India and how DA Jeff Rosen "seeks" to avoid such deportations.

Not surprisingly the defendant "did not object to the deal" unlike the wife who objected to being "terrorized" for 10 years!

Come on, guys. Did you even read the victim impact statement???

10 people like this
Posted by Male vs. female perspective
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 23, 2017 at 9:11 am

To me it appears males often defend Persky and Rosen -- their casual attitudes -- their disdain for women -- while females are focused on the criminal and/or unethical behavior of anti-woman men such as the CEO described just above, frat boys (like Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel when he was a frat boy at Stanford, etc.) I am voting with my feet, I refuse to use Snapchat and attempt to avoid lining the pockets of Silicon Valley "leaders" who abuse and ridicule women. Sad commentary for the year 2017, but that's where we're at here in "progressive" Silicon Valley. Of course, when found out. Y an embarrasssed Stanford, there was a brief minor public humiliation but all is well now based on after the fact disingenuous non-apology apologies. Please consider where you direct your spending as a consumer.

9 people like this
Posted by Thinking Out Loud
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 24, 2017 at 1:37 pm

So this is apparently why so many women boycott Snapchat--and refuse to use it!

Good to know!

Perhaps male grads of Berkeley and Stanford will have a hard time finding gainful employment in the near future-- especially if they pledged a frat and especially if the interviewer is a woman!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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