8.26.16 | Katie J.M. Baker
Judge Aaron Persky, under fire for his sentencing of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, delayed sentencing for a domestic violence offender so he could play football in Hawaii. “They made it easy for him,” the victim told BuzzFeed News.
The California judge who faces a recall campaign after giving a former Stanford swimmer a six-month jail sentence for sexual assault approved an extraordinarily lenient sentencing arrangement for another young male athlete convicted of domestic violence, according to court records.
In February 2015, 21-year-old Ikaika Gunderson beat and choked his ex-girlfriend. He quickly confessed to police and three months later pleaded no contest to a felony count of domestic violence.
Gunderson faced up to four years in state prison, but he got a break.
In most domestic violence cases, sentencing occurs within a month or two of the guilty plea, but Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky agreed to delay sentencing for more than a year so that Gunderson could attend the University of Hawaii, where he had been accepted, and play football there.
The judge said he would reduce Gunderson’s charge to a misdemeanor if the athlete completed a 52-week domestic violence program and attended weekly AA meetings.