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
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.