The Montana judge’s light 30-day prison sentence for a confessed rapist is back in headlines, with the judge himself saying the sentence might have been illegal.
Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced former teacher Stacey Rambold to 30-days for violating a plea agreement for the 2007 rape of 14-year-old Cherice Morales. Morales later committed suicide. (Via KULR)
But Tuesday, Baugh ordered a new hearing to determine whether the sentence should be revised. According to the Billings Gazette: “Baugh said in the order that the mandatory minimum sentence Rambold should have received appears to be two years.” Not 30 days.
Rambold was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent in 2008. (Via ABC)
The Daily Mail reports, prosecutors settled for a three-year deferred prosecution. If Rambold pleaded guilty to one of the three counts and entered a treatment program, the case would be dismissed.
But Rambold violated part of the agreement which landed him back in court in 2012. Baugh sentenced Rambold to 15 years, but suspended that sentence leaving Rambold to serve only 30 days in jail.
Protests sprang up calling for Baugh to resign because of the light sentence. Protesters also believed Baugh’s remarks implied Morales was in part to blame for her rape. (Via NBC)
“In handing down his sentence, the judge said Morales ‘was in as much control’ as her then 49-year-old rapist, adding that Morales presented herself ‘as older than her chronological age.’” (Via CNN)
Baugh apologized for his remarks two days later, but that did little to quell the community’s anger. (Via KTVQ)
Though Baugh plans to impose a new punishment, the prosecutor isn’t sure the district court judge has the authority to do so. Baugh scheduled a new hearing for Friday.
See more at Newsy.com