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Montana judge said 14-year-old rape victim at fault: Rapist sentenced 30-days

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Yesterday, the “The Montana Supreme Court” overruled a “lenient” sentence given to a 47-year-old teacher who was convicted of raping a 14-year-old student. The court also said Judge Todd Baugh showed bias when he said he believed the 14-year-old victim had control over the rape, and then proceeded to slap a 30-day prison sentence for convicted rapist Stacey Dean Rambold.

Rambold was a Billings High School teacher and in 2007 he rapped a 14-year-old student. However, in a sad turn of events, the teenager committed suicide as the case was pending trial. But at the trial Judge Baugh said the victim “appeared older than her chronological age.” Wonder if he would’ve made the same comments if the victim had been sitting in his courtroom? Nonetheless, the public became outraged by such judicial neglect.

After many citizens advocated that Baugh be investigated for giving a convicted rapist such a short prison sentence, the state Judicial Standards Commission opened an investigation to the public’s complaints. After review the commission gave their report and recommendation to the state Supreme Court, and yesterday Judge Baugh was reprimanded and temporarily suspended. According to NPR, the Supreme Court told Baugh his ruling and actions, “eroded public confidence in the judiciary” system. Starting in December Baugh will also go under a 31-day suspension.

Although Rambold, the convicted child rapist, completed his 30-day prison sentence last year, and is now a registered sex offender, the Supreme Court also ruled that he will be re-sentenced by District Judge Randal Spaulding, which is scheduled for Sept. 26. According to Montana state law, children who are 16-years or younger can’t consent to sexual intercourse. What was Judge Baugh thinking when he sentenced a convicted rapist to 30-days in prison?

State prosecutors shared with The Guardian back in April that they believed “Rambold should have received [at least the bare] minimum of two years under state law.

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