E-mail Story   Print Story
  Comments (1) Total Thursday Apr. 24, 2014
 
Critics: Montana Judge Deserves More Than Censure
National Organization for Women want him removed from the bench
BILLINGS – A Montana judge's acknowledgement that he mishandled a teacher-student rape case was rejected as insufficient by women's advocates, who on Monday pressed for a state ethics panel to focus on alleged bias against the victim.

District Judge G. Todd Baugh told The Associated Press in an interview last week that he deserves to be censured for saying the 14-year-old victim appeared "older than her chronological age."

Representatives of the Montana and Pennsylvania chapters of the National Organization for Women said in a weekend filing with the state Judicial Standards Commission that Baugh's actions showed prejudice against the young, Hispanic victim.

The groups want him removed from the bench.

The victim killed herself before the case went to trial, and Baugh later sentenced former Billings High School teacher Stacey Rambold to a 15-year prison term with all but one month suspended for sexual intercourse without consent.

"Rather than looking at the power and control a teacher has over his student, (the judge) blamed the victim — a clear bias in his treatment of this case," the advocacy groups wrote.

The Judicial Standards Commission is scheduled to convene Tuesday in Helena for its quarterly meeting.

It's unclear if the formal complaints filed against Baugh by Montana NOW, Pennsylvania NOW and other groups will be discussed. The proceedings are closed to the public because of confidentiality rules, said Shelly Nash, executive secretary for the five-member panel chaired by District Judge Ed McLean of Missoula.

Baugh attempted to alter the one-month sentence he handed down in August after it drew a public backlash. He contends that he mistakenly relied on arguments from Rambold's attorney, who said a month behind bars was appropriate given the defendant's good behavior in the wake of the allegations.

The state Supreme Court said the judge could not simply lengthen Rambold's sentence because the matter already had been appealed by prosecutors. That appeal is pending.
 
On 12-14-13, civilrightsactivist commented....
For more detail on the brief Montana NOW, Pennsylvania NOW, Legal Momentum, Sexual Violence Law Center, Women’s Law Project, and Legal Voice filed, including a copy of the amicus brief, check out http://wp.me/p2YOyv-dj.
 
Kellyn Brown
Kellyn Brown10h
@kellynbrown
Governor Weighs in on Barry Beach Clemency Application | Flathead Beacon http://t.co/MPQ0KXsiEc
Dillon Tabish
Dillon Tabish12h
@djtabish
Grappling with Technology Demands, Kalispell Schools Seek Funding Boost http://t.co/cy4o52myFO
Molly Priddy
Molly Priddy11h
@mollypriddy
MT Gov. Steve Bullock sends letter to Parole Board, largely supportive of Barry Beach's petition for commutation of sentence. #mtpol
Tristan Scott
Tristan Scott15h
@tristanscott
Meet the law firm behind W.R. Grace and scores of other notable Montana cases. http://t.co/PXTGJGoYdH
Flathead Beacon
FB Headlines10h
@flatheadbeacon
Governor Weighs in on Barry Beach Clemency Application http://t.co/fePORvxmT4