LOS ANGELES — A Santa Clara County judge who drew heated criticism for his decision to sentence former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman has been cleared of misconduct by the California Commission on Judicial Performance.

In a 12-page report released Monday, the commission wrote that Judge Aaron Persky’s sentencing was within the “parameters set by law and was therefore within the judge’s discretion.”

The commission, an independent state agency that is responsible for investigating claims of misconduct, said it found no evidence of bias in Judge Persky’s conduct and announced that it had closed its investigation of the case.

“The commission has concluded that there is not clear and convincing evidence of bias, abuse of authority, or other basis to conclude that Judge Persky engaged in judicial misconduct warranting discipline,” the panel said.

That assessment did little to quell the furor over Persky’s decision however as his fiercest critics vowed Monday to continue their campaign to have the judge removed from the bench in a recall election.

“We believe that the record is completely clear that Judge Persky has a long record of failing to take violence against women seriously, and we will demonstrate when we launch the campaign early next year,” said Michelle Dauber, a Stanford law professor and friend of the victim who has spearheaded the campaign. “We believe that voters support the recall and will replace Judge Persky.”

Outrage over the Turner sentencing erupted in June, when the victim’s anguished impact statement was published online and shared via social media.

The commission, which consists of six public members, two lawyers and three judicial officers, had received “thousands of complaints and petitions” charging Persky with gender, race and economic bias.


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