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Judge in Stanford rape case asks for move to civil cases

Brock Turner image from CNN

Brock Turner image from CNN

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — A court says a California judge who was criticized for ordering a lenient six-month jail sentence in a rape case against a former Stanford University swimmer will no longer hear criminal matters, by his own request.

The court said Thursday that it has granted the request form Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky to be reassigned.

RELATED: Stanford rape case: Who is Judge Persky?

Presiding Judge Rise Pichon said in a statement that she firmly believes Persky can continue in his current assignment but instead has agreed to send him to the civil division where he has served previously.

The assignment is subject to an annual review and takes effect Sept. 6.

Persky ordered the six-month sentence for Brock Turner, a Dayton, Ohio, resident who had been attending Stanford on a swimming scholarship.

Authorities say Turner sexually assaulted the girl while she was passed out near a trash bin.

The case sparked a national debate on college drinking and sexual assault.