Judge Suspended Longer Than 30-Day Rape Sentence

Baugh gets 31 days, will be publicly censured
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2014 3:01 AM CDT
Judge's Suspension Longer Than Rape Sentence
District Judge G. Todd Baugh is seen at a hearing in Great Falls, Montana.   (AP Photo/Billings Gazette, Larry Mayer, File)

The Montana judge who said a 14-year-old rape victim was "older than her chronological age" and was "as much in control" as the teacher who had sex with her has received a suspension a day longer than the 30 days he handed down in the case. The Montana Supreme Court says Todd Baugh will be publicly censured on July 1 and his 31-day suspension will begin on December 1, taking him to the end of his term, reports the Billings Gazette. The 72-year-old judge—who later apologized for his comments, said he misread the law, and tried to retract the sentence—is not seeking re-election.

The court decided Baugh had violated a state law that requires judges to "act in a manner that promotes public confidence" in the justice system and "avoids impropriety," reports NBC. "He has caused Montana citizens, as well as others, to question the fairness of our justice system and whether prejudice or bias affected the outcome" of the case, the judges wrote. The court also rejected a request from the 54-year-old teacher to reconsider a ruling expected to see him serve more time in prison. Stacey Rambold—whose lawyers say there was a "lynch mob" mentality in the outcry over the case—received the original sentence after breaking an agreement with the state reached when his victim killed herself before the case could go to trial. (More Montana stories.)

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