Judge G. Todd Baugh backpedals on Montana rape sentence

Cherice Morales was 14 years old when her schoolteacher, Stacey Dean Rambold, raped her on three separate occasions starting in 2008. She committed suicide at the age of 16 when the rape case went to criminal court.  Credit: Auliea Hanlon / Facebook
Cherice Morales was 14 years old when her schoolteacher, Stacey Dean Rambold, raped her on three separate occasions starting in 2008. She committed suicide at the age of 16 when the rape case went to criminal court.
Credit: Auliea Hanlon/Facebook

Judge G. Todd Baugh of Yellowstone County District in Montana said the sentence he gave a former teacher for the rape of a student may be illegal, according to the Billings Gazette.

Baugh came under fire for sentencing former schoolteacher Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, to just 30 days in jail for the rape of his former student, who later committed suicide.

Now, Baugh appears to be backpedaling. He filed an order Tuesday and set a hearing for Friday afternoon to review his sentence and determine if it should be revised. He said in the order that the mandatory minimum may have been two years instead of 30 days, according to the Gazette. “Imposing a sentence which suspends more than the mandatory minimum would be an illegal sentence,” Baugh wrote in the order.

Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito told the Gazette that he has been working with the Montana Attorney General’s Office to determine whether to appeal the case to the state Supreme Court.

Baugh made national headlines after he made comments that the victim “seemed older than her chronological age” and was “as much in control of the situation” as her rapist. These comments fueled protests last week for his resignation.

Baugh later apologized for the comments, saying on KTVQ that his comments were “demeaning to all women” and “irrelevant to the sentencing.” About 400 protesters gathered near the courthouse in Billings last Thursday, calling for Baugh to resign. Over 40,000 people have signed an online petition to remove him from office on MoveOn.org.

Sheena Rice, one of the organizers of the protest and co-founder of grassroots movement Justice 4 Cherice, said she and other activists still want Baugh to resign, even after his admission today. Rice told Metro, “This really does show that his original sentence of 30 days was based on his misconception about rape. It’s pretty evident that he failed to uphold his duty as a judge. I’ve never heard of this happening before – a judge rescheduling a hearing because he acknowledges that he probably did something illegal in the original sentence.”

Rice said she and her colleagues are working with lawyers to file a complaint with the Montana Judicial Standards Commission.

Rambold worked as a 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.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.