Former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner is scheduled to be released from jail Friday after serving half of a six-month sentence for the rape of an unconscious, intoxicated woman.
In June, Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to six months in prison for the 2015 sexual assault of a 23-year-old woman behind a garbage dumpster near a campus fraternity.
During the sentencing, Judge Persky cited Turner’s clean criminal record and the effect the conviction will have on his life.
WATCH: Officials step up security ahead of Brock Turner’s early release
In March, Turner was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.
The sentence triggered criticism the star athlete from a privileged background had gotten special treatment. Prosecutors had asked for six years in prison.
During the sentencing hearing, the student’s father, Dan Turner, pleaded to the judge for leniency on his son.
“As it stands now, Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events of Jan 17th and 18th. He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile,” the father wrote in a letter to the judge. “These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways. His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve.”
“That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life,” reads a portion of the letter.
Turner’s victim also penned a gut-wrenching account of the night she was sexually assaulted.
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me,” reads the start of the victim’s impact statement.
Following Turner’s sentencing, prospective jurors began to boycott Judge Persky’s courtroom and petitions called for the removal of the judge.
“We the people would like to petition that Judge Aaron Persky be removed from his judicial position for the lenient sentence he allowed in the Brock Turner rape case,” reads the Change.org petition. “Despite a unanimous guilty verdict, three felony convictions, the objections of 250 Stanford students, Jeff Rosen the district attorney for Santa Clara, as well as the deputy district attorney who likened Turner to ‘a predator searching for prey’ Judge Persky allowed the lenient sentence suggested by the probation department.
Earlier this week, Judge Persky took himself off the handling of criminals cases, the Associated Press reported.
“While I firmly believe in Judge Persky’s ability to serve in his current assignment, he has requested to be assigned to the civil division, in which he previously served,” Presiding Judge Rise Pichon said. “Judge Persky believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment.”
As for Turner, if the former Stanford student is released on Friday as scheduled, he will be required to attend drug and alcohol counselling.
County jail inmates serve 50 per cent of their sentences if they keep a clean disciplinary record.
–with files from The Associated Press