Campaign to remove judge in Stanford rape case gains steam

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SAN FRANCISCO — Three prominent political consultants say they’re joining the effort to recall the judge who sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

A Stanford law professor launched a formal campaign to remove Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky from the bench. He was re-elected Tuesday after running unopposed.

The campaign announced Friday that media consultant Joe Trippi, campaign strategist John Shallman and pollster Paul Maslin are on board.

Organizers would need to collect 58,634 signatures from registered county voters, and a recall election would follow.

Trippi has worked for a number of Democratic presidential candidates, while Maslin’s clients include Gov. Jerry Brown.

Shallman spearheaded passage of a law requiring California colleges and universities to apply a “yes means yes” standard in sexual misconduct cases.

Several prospective jurors who opposed Persky’s decision have refused to serve in his courtroom. Jurors were dismissed from service this week on an unrelated case after they came forward with their complaints.

UltraViolet, a women’s advocacy group, said it collected more than 824,000 signatures in a symbolic petition urging the judge’s removal, and other groups gathered thousands more that they will deliver to the California Commission on Judicial Performance, the agency that investigates complaints of judicial misconduct and disciplines judges.

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.