Court: Stanford Rape Judge Must Pay Recall Effort’s Legal Fees

A Santa Clara County judge who was recalled this year has been ordered to pay $161,825.68 to the attorneys who represented the woman leading the effort to oust him.

Judge Kay Tsenin ordered Aaron Persky to pay the recall campaign’s lawyers on Oct. 22. Persky had unsuccessfully sued the campaign and the County Registrar of Voters last year in an attempt to keep the recall effort off the ballot.

“Judge Persky repeatedly filed frivolous lawsuits against the recall campaign with the goal of stalling and causing expense,” Michele Dauber, who led the recall effort, said in an email to the Palo Alto Daily Post. “We are happy that our lawyer will be getting paid for his outstanding work in defending our constitutional rights and those of the voters of Santa Clara County.”

The recall campaign’s attorney, Fredric Woocher of Strumwasser and Woocher, said he previously tried to reach a settlement with Persky, but was flatly rebuffed. Persky may now have to foot the bill personally if the FPPC denies his request to use his campaign account to collect donations from supporters.

The effort to kick Persky off the bench began after his 2016 sentencing of Stanford rapist Brock Turner to just six months in the county jail. Persky was recalled in June by 61.6% of voters, becoming the first judge to be recalled in California since 1932.