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The Judge In The Brock Turner Case Will No Longer Hear Criminal Cases

Radar
Photo via Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department

By his own request

The judge in the Stanford rape case—who sentenced former swimmer Brock Turner to just six months of jail for raping an intoxicated, unconscious woman, while the prosecutors argued he should serve six years—has requested to transfer departments. Judge Aaron Persky will no longer hear criminal cases, instead presiding over civil cases. This news comes just a few days after Persky recused himself from an upcoming sex crime case, and a day after a women’s advocacy group rallied for his unseating.

While Persky’s reassignment will, at the very least, take him out of future volatile cases and prevent him from making similar decisions that virtually acquit rapists of their heinous crimes, the Santa Clara justice department’s insouciance regarding the departmental shift signals a bigger problem at hand: Persky’s decision to no longer hear rape cases is his own, not a mandate made by the department in the aftermath of his ludicrous Stanford ruling.

On Thursday, Santa Clara County Superior Court Presiding Judge Rise Jones Pichon issued a statement regarding Perky’s change:

"While I firmly believe in Judge Persky's ability to serve in his current assignment, he has requested to be assigned to the civil division, in which he previously served. Judge Persky believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment. A reassignment is possible due to the request of another judge to relocate to Palo Alto. Although the Presiding Judge normally implements assignment changes in January of each year, when two judges simply want to swap assignments for which they are both eminently qualified, there is no reason to delay implementation of a change they both desire."

Persky has the freedom to request a switch back to criminal cases, if he should like. There is nothing holding him back from hearing cases related to sexual assault in the future. There is nothing preventing him from coupling his judicial power with his bias in the future.

Countless acts of sexual violence don’t even make it to the courtroom, and decisions like the one Persky made only reinforce the unfortunate truth that rapists so often get away with their crimes. In order to end rape culture, action needs to occur not just on a cultural and philosophical level, but on a judicial level.

Cara Delevingne, Ashley Benson, and Agyness Deyn also star

Elisabeth Moss is trying to keep it together as punk rock artist Becky Something in the trailer for forthcoming movie Her Smell. She's surrounded by iconic faces who make up her band Something She, Gayle Rankin as Ali van der Wolff and Agyness Deyn as Marielle Hell, as she grapples with the fact that her musical prowess just doesn't draw as big a crowd as it used to.

In addition to the wavering fame, Becky is "grappling with motherhood, exhausted bandmates, nervous record company executives, and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom," according to a press release. "When Becky's chaos and excesses derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, temper her demons, and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success." And what's clear from the trailer, Moss is absolutely meant for this role, transforming into the punk on the brink of collapse.

Rounding out the cast are Ashley Benson, Cara Delevingne, and Dan Stevens. Watch the official trailer, below. Her Smell hits theaters on April 12 in New York and 14 in L.A., with "national expansion to follow."

Her Smell | OFFICIAL TRAILER HD www.youtube.com

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Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

In an acceptance speech at the BRIT Awards

As The 1975 accepted the BRIT Award for Best British group, outspoken frontman Matty Healy shared the words of journalist Laura Snapes as a way of calling out misogyny that remains ever-present in the music industry. Healy lifted a powerful quote from Snapes' coverage of allegations against Ryan Adams for The Guardian: "Male misogynist acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits of 'difficult' artists, [while] women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don't understand art."

Snapes reacted almost immediately on Twitter, saying she was "gobsmacked, and honoured that he'd use his platform to make this statement." Snapes had originally written the line for an interview she published with Sun Kil Moon singer Mark Kozelek back in 2015, in response to Kozelek publicly calling her a "bitch" who "totally wants to have my babies" because she requested to speak in person rather than via e-mail, which she brought up in the more recent piece on Adams. Kozelek's vile response, and the misogyny that allowed it to play out without real consequences, it could be argued, could have easily played out in the same way in 2019, which makes her reiteration of the line, and Healy's quoting it on such a large platform, all the more important.

It should be noted that back in December, Healy caught a bit of heat himself on Twitter for an interview with The Fader in which he insinuated that misogyny was an issue exclusive to hip-hop, and that rock 'n' roll had freed itself of it. He clarified at length on Twitter and apologized, saying, "I kinda forget that I'm not very educated on feminism and misogyny and I cant just 'figure stuff out' in public and end up trivializing the complexities of such enormous, experienced issues."