Controversy follows Brock Turner judge in new domestic violence case

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ByDavid Louie KGO logo
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Controversy follows Brock Turner judge in new domestic violence case
Another case handled by Aaron Persky, the judge in the controversial Brock Turner case, is set for a hearing in Palo Alto on Tuesday.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Another case handled by Brock Turner's judge is set for a hearing in Palo Alto Tuesday.

The case involves Keenan Smith, a sophomore football player at the College of San Mateo.

Smith continues to play football after serving 28 days of a 60 day jail sentence. One of Judge Aaron Persky's biggest critics is pointing at this as another example of putting college athletics ahead of violence against women.

RELATED: Rape survivors deliver petitions to remove Brock Turner judge

Stanford law professor Michelle Dauber has been leading the campaign to recall Judge Aaron Persky, not just for the way he handled the Brock Turner rape case, but also for a case that happened at a building supply parking lot on Aster Avenue last year.

19-year-old Keenan Smith entered a plea deal in 2015 for domestic abuse against his girlfriend.

Court records indicate that Judge Persky worked out a plea deal for him to attend domestic violence prevention classes for a year and perform 28 days of community service. That's after serving 32 days in jail, however; Smith has not been complying.

"The judge had many, many opportunities to hold this young man accountable and to make sure he serves his sentence," said Dauber.

RELATED: Judge in Brock Turner sex assault trial to no longer hear criminal cases

Smith will be in court Tuesday morning, but will see a different judge since Judge Persky has moved to a San Jose courtroom. His public defender talked to us by phone, saying Smith's case is being politicized.

"They could be asking for him to go into jail," said public defender Barbara Muller. "I have been doing this for a very long time and I've never seen the prosecution add someone to calendar in order to violate them when probation is not asking for a violation."

That view is also supported by a fellow Public Defender, Gary Goodman, who says Smith has been going to classes by day, playing football and working an overnight job to pay the $50 fee for each of the violence prevention classes.

RELATED: Protest held against judge Persky following Turner's release

"It was the District Attorney's Office that reduced this case to a misdemeanor," said Goodman. "The probation department was monitoring this person quite well. They knew exactly what this person was doing."

The DA's office declined to do an interview about the case in Palo Alto.