Montana judge apologizes for his remarks but won't resign for giving a teacher who raped a 14-year old only 30 days in jail. The Montana judge also said the teen was "older than her chronological age."
A Montana judge apologized but said he had no plans to resign after his remarks about a 14-year-old rape victim — and the 30-day jail sentence he handed the perpetrator — sparked outrage.
District Judge G. Todd Baugh said Wednesday he "deserved to be chastised" for his comments about the victim, who he had said was "older than her chronological age" and had as much control of the situation as the Billings Senior High School teacher who was in a sexual relationship with her.
Baugh said he stood by his decision Monday to sentence the former teacher, Stacey Rambold, to 15 years in prison, with all of but 31 days of that term suspended. He gave Rambold credit for one day already served.
Baugh, 71, wrote an apology Wednesday in a letter to the editor to The Billings Gazette. He said his comments were demeaning of all women and not reflective of his beliefs.
The judge later told reporters he was "fumbling around" in court trying to explain his sentence and "made some really stupid remarks."
"I don't know how to pass that off. I'm saying I'm sorry and it's not who I am," Baugh said. "I deserve to be chastised. I apologize for that."
Protesters planned a Thursday afternoon rally outside the Yellowstone County Courthouse to demand that Baugh resign. Organizer Sheena Rice said it's important for the community to show it is not going to stand for victim blaming.
"I'm glad he apologized, but he should have known better as a judge," Rice said. "The fact that he said it makes me think he still believes it."
If Baugh doesn't resign, protesters will try to defeat him in an election in 2014, Rice said.
Baugh was first elected to the bench in 1984 and has been re-elected every six years since then without an opponent. He said he has not decided whether to run again in 2014.