Next month, less than a year after he was censured by the Montana Supreme Court for comments he made while sentencing a man who raped a 14-year-old girl, retired District Judge G. Todd Baugh will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Yellowstone Area Bar Association.
Marian Bradley, president of the Montana chapter of the National Organization for Women, said there is “something absolutely wrong” with members of the local bar giving Baugh the award, according to a report in Last Best News.
“Do they not have respect for the women and children of this community?” she said. “This is outrageous.” . . .
Baugh was censured by the state high court in July 2014 for his comments during the 2013 sentencing of Stacey Dean Rambold, who was a 47-year-old business teacher at Billings Senior High School when he raped Cherice Moralez, a student of his, in 2007.
Just before her 17th birthday in 2010, while charges against Rambold were still pending, Moralez committed suicide.
Rambold later pleaded guilty in the case.
Baugh was vilified across the country after he sentenced Rambold to 15 years in prison with all but 31 days suspended.
During the sentencing, he said the 14-year-old victim was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as her abuser.
After his remarks went viral and sparked public protests in Billings and other cities, Baugh apologized for his comments and acknowledged that his lenient sentence in the case violated state law.
He tried to modify the sentence retroactively, but the Montana Supreme Court ruled that he could not revise a sentence he’d already handed down.
After the Supreme Court overturned Baugh’s sentence, another district judge sentenced Rambold to 15 years in prison with five years suspended.