SAN FRANCISCO — A California judge who was recalled after sentencing a former Stanford student to six months in jail for sexually assaulting a young woman is asking people to donate money so he can pay court-ordered attorney’s fees to the backers of the recall.
Former Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky — the first state judge to be recalled in nearly a century — is asking supporters to donate to his failed campaign before the end of the year, the Mercury News reported Wednesday.
“My campaign committee has spent all its resources fighting the recall, and now must pay $135,000 to satisfy the attorney fees order, which is due by December 31,” Persky said in the email titled “A Final Ask.”
Persky raised more than $840,000, but spent it all to try to keep his seat on the bench, which he lost in June when a majority of Santa Clara County voters chose to remove him.
Stanford University law school professor Michele Dauber, who launched the recall campaign, said the judge only has himself to blame for his financial predicament.
“Judge Persky made the bad decision to repeatedly file frivolous lawsuits and appeals with the goal of stalling and causing expense,” Dauber said in an email.
The recall came after Persky sentenced former Stanford student Brock Turner, who was released from jail in 2016 after serving three months.
The sentence sparked outrage among people who felt it was too lenient and Persky was targeted for the recall.
Persky could not be reached for comment about his request for donations. One of his major donors defended his efforts.
“I hope this works out for him. He’s been punished more than enough,” said James McManis, whose law firm represented Persky for free.