Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Montana Judge Accused of Bias in Lenient Sentence For Rapist Teacher

Posted By on Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

A formal complaint has been lodged against a Montana judge for what he admitted to be inappropriate comments in connection with a rape trial where a former teacher was sentenced to 31 days in jail.

District Judge G. Todd sentenced the former Billings Senior High School teacher to 15 years, but then suspended all but 31 days and gave him credit for one day already served.

But at the time of the sentencing, the judge said that the young rape victim was "as much in control of the situation" as her rapist, adding that she "not only had equal control of the rape, but was also a troubled youth older than her chronological age."

But Baugh backpedaled Aug. 28, saying, "I'm saying I'm sorry and it's not who I am. I deserve to be chastised. I apologize for that."

Baugh said he was "fumbling around" in court and "made some really stupid remarks."

The victim killed herself in 2010 before the case went to trial.

This morning's Missoulian reports that representatives of the Montana National Organization for Women and the group UltraViolet filed a complaint with the Montana Judicial Standards Commission, faulting Baugh for bias and giving the convicted rapist a lenient sentence.

The Missoulian reports that If the five-member commission decides Baugh's actions in the case were biased or otherwise inappropriate, it can send the complaint up to the Montana Supreme Court, which has the power to remove him from the bench.

"Our ultimate goal is to ensure that this never happens again here in the state ... to make sure that we can protect any woman or child who comes into court," said Montana NOW president Marian Bradley. "I think the Supreme Court has to act upon it. This community is outraged. This is not OK."

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