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article imageProsecutors appealing 30-day sentence for child rape

By Justin King     Sep 5, 2013 in Crime
Prosecutors in the now notorious case of Stacey Rambold appealed to the Supreme Court, saying that Montana state law requires a minimum two-year sentence.
Outrage over District Judge G. Todd Baugh’s comments has still not subsided, with many calling for the Judge’s removal. The Judge sentenced Rambold to 15 years, but only one month of that was to be served in prison. The rest was suspended.
Baugh’s apparent rationale for the light sentence was that the 14-year old victim was “older than her chronological age.” The victim committed suicide prior to the trial beginning. She had been Rambold’s student at Billings Senior High. He is 54 years old.
Baugh has attempted to reconcile his sentence with the public by offering to re-sentence Stacey Rambold. Prosecutors have asked that he not do so and allow for the appeals process to begin. Prosecutors originally sought a 20-year sentence with 10 suspended for Rambold.
When the victim killed herself and the prosecution lost their star witness, the prosecution offered Rambold a deferred prosecution deal that would have allowed him to avoid prison by simply attending a sexual offender program. He failed to successfully complete the program.
Judge Baugh has been on the bench since 1984 and will be up for re-election next year. Rallies have been held in opposition to the judge being allowed to finish his current term on the bench and formal complaints are being filed with the state’s judicial oversight board. The Judge apologized publicly, but it seemed too little too late to persuade the protesters that he was sentencing Rambold based on the violation of the plea deal rather than the actual crime. The National Organization for Women does not seem likely to budge from their position of demanding the Judge’s resignation.
More about 30, Day, Sentence, Prosecutor, Appeal
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