Montana District judge G. Todd Baugh faces criticism for sentencing a 54-year-old former teacher, Stacey Rambold, to only 30 days in jail for repeatedly raping a 14-year-old girl. Rambold was first charged in 2008 when the victim, one of his students, told a church counselor she had been sexually assaulted. She committed suicide in 2010 as the case was proceeding in court.
The judge’s original remarks blamed the girl for the rape, saying she was just “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher and that she was a troubled youth “older than her chronological age.” The judge later apologized for his remarks, but he stands by the sentencing decision he made on August 26 of this year.
Almost 30,000 people have already signed a petition on MoveOn.org calling for Baugh to resign. “Something is not right with our system when a judge can make that kind of decision,” Marian Bradly of the Montana National Organization for Women said.
After his 30-day term, Rambold must register as a sex offender, and he will be on supervised probation for 15 years.
Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 8/28/2013; Washington Post 8/28/2013