AP Exclusive: California judge in rape case has no regrets

FILE - In this June 10, 2016 file photo, activists from UltraViolet, a national women's advocacy organization, hold up signs before delivering over one million signatures to the California Commission on Judicial Performance calling for the removal of Judge Aaron Persky from the bench at a rally in San Francisco. Persky says he would handle the sexual assault case of former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner the same way today as he did almost exactly two years ago, even though it's the reason why he is the target of a June 5 recall election in Santa Clara County. Persky sentenced Turner to six months in jail. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, file)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - The California judge who sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexual assault says he has no regrets.

Judge Aaron Persky faces a June 5 recall election because of the June 2016 sentence, which was widely criticized as too lenient.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Persky says he would handle the case the same way today. He argues the recall campaign threatens judicial independence and could prompt some judges to stay away from unpopular rulings.

Persky says the Santa Clara County recall effort is unfair because it boils down a thick criminal case to Twitter hashtags.

Recall proponents say Persky should be held accountable for not taking violence against women seriously.

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