Less than a year after his lenient jail sentence for an admitted rapist stirred outrage, a Montana judge was publicly reprimanded today. In giving a former high school teacher only a 30-day jail sentence, District Judge G. Todd Baugh said the man's victim, a student, seemed older than her age, 14.
The case drew national attention last fall. After a public outcry, the judge acknowledged making mistakes in the case, and he attempted to change his punishment — but that effort was complicated in part by the state's appeal in the case in September.
From Montana Public Radio, Edward O'Brien reports:
"District Judge G. Todd Baugh of Billings gave Stacey Rambold just 30 days in prison after suggesting the victim also shared responsibility for the 2007 rape.
"Rambold was a 47-year-old business teacher. The victim was one of his students. The girl committed suicide before the case went to trial.
"Baugh is scheduled to appear before the Montana high court in Helena this afternoon, where he'll be publicly reprimanded for conduct dishonoring the position and the court's judicial system."
During today's proceeding, Baugh was called to the rostrum and told that his statements during the case had "eroded public confidence in the judiciary" and created the impression of impropriety.
Baugh did not speak during the proceeding. When the Supreme Court's finding had been read aloud, he stood motionless at the rostrum for a moment before leaving the courtroom.
As The Missoulian reports, "Baugh ... is the son of former Washington Redskins quarterback 'Slingin' Sammy Baugh." The newspaper adds that he plans to retire when his term expires in December.