MONTANA JUDGE TO BE CENSURED OVER RAPE COMMENTS
District Judge G. Todd Baugh, of Billings will publicly reprimanded by the Montana SupremeCourt on Tuesday after he gave a lenient sentence to a rapist after suggesting the 14 year oldvictim shared some of the responsibility for the crime. The censure is a public declarationby the high court that a judge is guilty of misconduct. The rarely used punishment wasrecommended by the state's Judicial Standards Commission, which investigated complaints into thecomments Baugh made during Stacey Dean Rambold's sentencing last year. Baugh sent Rambold toprison for 30 days last year after he pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent. Rambold was a 47 year old business teacher at Billings Senior High School at the time of the 2007rape. The victim was one of his students. She committed suicide while the case waspending trial. Baugh said during Rambold's sentencing in August that the teenager wasprobably as much in control of the situation as the defendant and that she appeared older thanher chronological age. Under state law children younger than 16 cannot consent to sexualintercourse. After a public outcry, Baugh apologized for the comments and acknowledged theshort prison sentence violated state law. He attempted retroactively to revise it but was blockedwhen the state filed its appeal. The Supreme Court ordered Baugh to be censured on therecommendation of the Judicial Standards Commission, and also ordered him to be suspended for 31days. Chief Justice Mike McGrath wrote in the order that Baugh had eroded confidence in the courtsystem. Rambold has been free since last fall after serving the original sentence. After hisrelease, Rambold registered as a sex offender and was to remain on probation through 2028.
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