SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California judge facing a recall effort after sentencing former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexual assault has hired a political consultant who ran President Donald Trump’s Arizona campaign.
Disclosure forms filed Monday show that Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky paid $30,000 to Brian Seitchik’s Phoenix-based RDP Strategies.
Reports with the California secretary of state’s office showed Persky has raised $128,000 through the end of June. The recall campaign has taken in $444,000 in that same time.
Neither Seitchik nor Persky responded to requests for comment Wednesday.
Trump hired Seitchik in July 2016 to direct his campaign in Arizona, a state Trump won 49.5 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 45.4 percent.
The push to recall Persky is led by Stanford University law professor Michelle Dauber, who helped Clinton raise money.
Dauber launched the campaign to recall Persky after he sentenced Turner to the short jail term for sexually assaulting a young woman outside a Stanford fraternity house in January 2015. The woman had passed out from too much alcohol and had met Turner only hours before inside the house.
The sentence led to widespread outrage and complaints that sexual assault, particularly on college campuses, isn’t being taken seriously enough by judges. Dauber is also friends with the victim, who grew up with her daughter.
Persky was following a Santa Clara County Probation Department recommendation when he sentenced Turner, who also must register for life as a sex offender.
Many California judges and lawyers have contributed to Persky’s campaign to retain his seat.
The campaign to recall Persky has hired a company to collect signatures, to get the issue on the June ballot. The campaign has received contributions from a wide range of sources, including Silicon Valley investors and political activists who support women’s causes. Author Jon Krakauer donated $100.
“It is not surprising that Persky engaged the Trump campaign to defend his terrible record on sexual assault and violence against women,” Dauber said. “It’s sad and it is time to get Persky off the bench.”
The story has been corrected to reflect recall campaign aiming for June ballot, not November ballot.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.