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San Francisco — Activists seeking to recall a judge who sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman say they believe voters will still support the effort even though it wouldn’t appear on the ballot until two years after the case drew national attention.

The activists took the first formal step on Monday to call for the removal of Judge Aaron Persky. Supporters filed paperwork with the Santa Clara County registrar of voters and now have 160 days to gather more than 50,000 signatures.

A group led by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber says Persky shows a long pattern of bias in cases involving sex crimes.

Recall opponents say reviews have found no evidence of misconduct or bias by the judge.

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