Rape Victim's Mom Rejects Judge's Apology

State may appeal the light sentence

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 29, 2013 6:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – The mother of a 14-year-old rape victim said a Montana judge was just "covering his butt" after he apologized for saying her daughter was "older than her chronological age." Auliea Hanlon spoke as protesters in Billings demanded the resignation of Judge G. Todd Baugh over the controversy, which began when Baugh ordered former teacher Stacey Rambold to spend just 30 days in jail for raping the girl. Baugh said the girl, who later committed suicide, was just as responsible as her teacher.

The 71-year-old tried to ease the ensuing firestorm with an apology, but "he wouldn't have said anything if people hadn't spoken up," says Hanlon. "He didn't reverse his decision, so it's irrelevant." A legal review of Monday's sentencing suggests Rambold may have gotten off too easily. The review determined that if Baugh had applied the proper section of state law, the defendant would have received a minimum of two years in prison, according to a memo sent by Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito to the appellate division of the state Attorney General's Office. The state has 20 days to appeal the sentence.

Auliea Hanlon, mother of the victim, receives a hug from a supporter during a Thursday rally in Billings calling for the resignation Judge G. Todd Baugh.   (Matt Brown)
Rally organizer Sheena Rice speaks to protesters gathered on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn in Billings, Mont.   (Matt Brown)
Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh reads a statement apologizing for remarks he made about the young victim.   (Matt Brown)
Protesters gathered on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn in Billings, Mont. Thursday Aug. 29, 2013, calling for the resignation of a state judge over comments he made about the teenage victim in...   (Matt Brown)
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