Letter from Sita Stukes

Judge Aquilina exemplified what it means to uphold justice. She allowed over 150 victim impact statements so every single one who needed to was able to speak publicly about their experience. “Leave your pain here,” she told a survivor, “and go out and do your magnificent things.”

Judge Persky, meanwhile, while presiding over the de Anza College gang rape case, allowed one defendant’s lawyer to show pictures of the victim at a party nearly a year after the attack to argue the victim was not experiencing PTSD; he stated the photos are a “direct contradiction” of plaintiff’s claim that she is socially isolated and socially reticent.

One judge empowers victims; the other attacks them. One judge understands the importance of victims getting justice; the other is concerned the rapist’s future prospects in life may be harmed. I will always stand with the victim, I want a judge who will too.