Santa Clara County district attorney pushes for new sexual assault bill

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The Santa Clara county district attorney announced he's going to help push for a bill in Sacramento that may impose tougher sanctions on sex assault offenders. (KGO-TV)

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen is pushing for new legislation to help protect sexual assault victims in the wake of the Brock Turner case.

Turner was sentenced to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in January 2015. The sentence sparked outrage nationwide by many who felt Judge Aaron Persky was too lenient.

RELATED: Victim writes letter to Brock Turner

The victim's emotionally charged 12-page impact letter was read by countless people, including Congresswoman Jackie Speier and her colleagues on the house floor.

Rosen said it started a revolution. "We're hoping to change hearts, change minds and change the law by protecting the next Emily Doe against the next Brock Turner," he said.

RELATED: Campaign launched against judge in Stanford sexual assault case

Turner, the former Stanford swimmer, was convicted of sexual assault on a victim who was unconscious from drinking too much at a party.

Conviction for sexual assault on a conscience person carries a mandatory prison sentence and that's not the case when the victim is unconscious.

Rosen said he will now support a proposed bill that would change that. "In this case, we would then have the same consequences for sexual assault of an unconscious person, meaning mandatory prison," he said.

Others want Persky removed from the bench. A group called Ultraviolet sent one million signatures to the state commission on judicial performance.

Still others are going to the ballot to recall the judge. "I don't think the answer is to change the law. The answer is to change this judge," Stanford law professor Michele Dauber said.

The petition signed by Santa Clara County public defenders supports the judge saying, removing him for a controversial sentence destroys judicial independence.

Deputy public defender Gary Goodman does not support the bill Rosen is pushing. "The statutes that are already in place for these types of crimes have been vetted in a slow and careful manner, this is not," Goodman said.

There will be hearings on the bill AB2888 next week in Sacramento. The assembly and senate would have to pass it and then it would go to the governor's desk to be signed into law.

ABC7 News' Matt Keller contributed to this story.

Click here for full coverage on the Brock Turner case.

Related Topics:
newsBrock Turnersex crimesex assaultcrimesanta clara countyStanford UniversityPalo AltoHayward
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