Aaron Persky—the first judge in California to be recalled in 80 years—has also lost his job as the coach of the girls’ junior varsity tennis team at a Bay Area high school.
Persky’s role as the Santa Clara County Superior Court judge who oversaw the Brock Turner rape case in 2016 came to the Fremont Union High School District’s attention late last week.
After meeting with parents of both varsity and junior varsity team members at Lynbrook High School, the school district said Wednesday that firing Persky was “in the best interest of our students and school community,” CNN reports.
Rachel Zlotziver, Fremont Union High School District’s coordinator of communications, told SFGate that Persky completed all the district’s hiring requirements, including a background check, before starting as a coach.
“He was a qualified applicant for this position, having attended several tennis coaching clinics for youth and holds a high rating from the United States Tennis Association,” she told SFGate.
CNN reports that the district referred to the former judge as “Michael Persky,” and that public records show that his full name is Michael Aaron Persky.
Persky came under fire for sentencing Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer, to six months in county jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious 23-year-old woman behind a dumpster. Prosecutors had asked for a six-year sentence, but Persky said he considered the “severe impact” a longer sentence would have on the collegiate athlete’s life.
Persky was recalled by California voters two years later in 2018.
According to USA Today, Persky said in a statement to ABC7 that his firing was “motivated by a desire to protect the players from the potentially intrusive media attention related to my hiring.”
“Although I am disappointed with the district’s decision, it was a privilege to coach the team, if only for a short time,” he told ABC7, according to the USA Today story. “I wish all of the players the best in their future academic and athletic endeavors.”