Protesters call for resignation of Montana rape case Judge G. Todd Baugh

cherice3

Protesters in Billings, Mont., are calling for the resignation of Judge G. Todd Baugh of Yellowstone County District after he sentenced a former teacher with just 30 days in jail for the rape of his former student, who later committed suicide. In particular, Baugh’s comments during the sentencing sparked outrage across the nation when he said the victim “seemed older than her chronological age” and was “as much in control of the situation” as the teacher.

Baugh has since apologized for the comments, saying on KTVQ that his comments were “demeaning to all women” and “irrelevant to the sentencing.” But on Tuesday, after the sentencing, Baugh stood by his comments and said, “I think people have in mind that this was some violent, forcible, horrible rape … but it wasn’t this forcible beat-up rape,” according to the Billings Gazette.

Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, worked as a school teacher at Billings Senior High School, where he taught 14-year-old Cherice Morales and began a sexual relationship with her in 2008; the legal age of sexual consent in Montana is 16. Morales committed suicide at the age of 16 as the case went to criminal court.

Hundreds of protesters are expected to gather today at 12:15 MDT in the park that adjoins Yellowstone County Courthouse, where Baugh works. Over 600 people have RSVPed on the Facebook event page and over 30,000 people have signed an online petition to remove Baugh from office on MoveOn.org.

Co-organizer Sheena Rice of the Montana Organizing Project said the response has been overwhelming. “This wasn’t just for a few angry feminists,” she told Metro. “Almost everybody in Billings is very angry … We want to see all of the children protected.”

Rice said she expects a broad variety of people from Billings and outside the community – one lawyer is even driving 220 miles in order to attend the protest. Co-organizer Marian Bradley, Montana president for the National Organization for Women, called Baugh’s comments outrageous.

“I went, ‘This is crazy,’” she said. “We’re getting into victim blaming and talking about ‘legitimate rape’ but rape is rape, and rape of a minor is a felony.”

She said she and many other members of the Billings community do not accept Baugh’s apology.

“It’s too little, too late, and in my opinion, people’s first responses are usually how they really feel,” she said. “To quote a lot of people, it was just garbage and I think the apology was a way for him to cool the situation.”

Kate Olp, who is organizing the protest with Rice and Bradley, said Baugh’s comments and subsequent recant have made it clear that he should not be a judge.

“These [comments] remove part of the responsibility from the abuser’s shoulders and put it on the very fragile shoulders of a hurting child,” Olp told Metro. “The fact that a judge would do that when he was given the opportunity to make right what was originally a lenient sentence really upset me and the Billings community.”

Bradley said that in case Baugh refuses to resign, she is preparing complaints against the judge for the judicial review board in order to force his resignation.

“We need to know our judges are educated on rape and what consent is and what sexual as a minor,” she said.

Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said Wednesday that his office is reviewing the sentence.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.