Fifty four year-old Stacey Rambold, the accused rapist and former teacher at Billings Senior High School was scheduled to be released from prison in Deer Lodge on Thursday. The problem with this case was that the victim committed suicide just as her case was heading to trial, and the rapist was given a 30 day sentence by District Judge G. Todd Baugh.
The judge blamed the 14-year-old woman because he claimed this victim was “older than her chronological age.” This judge has faced criticism since he pinned some responsibility on the teenager when he sentenced the rapist of Billings, Montana.
Prosecutors have challenged the 30-day-sentence as illegal. The rapist will be allowed to remain free while an appeal from Attorney General Tim Fox is pending before the state Supreme Court.
Monroe Freedman, of Hofstra University Law School, who is not generally in favor of disciplining judges for their conduct on the bench, said. “This clearly warrants disciplinary action! The hearing clearly violated judicial conduct rules and revealed a bias against the victim Cherice Moralez,”, who killed herself in 2010 as her case headed to trial. “He has not acted with impartiality. He has shown bias against the young woman.” Judge G.Todd Baugh’s continued insistence that his statements about the victim were irrelevant to the rapist’s sentence, “suggests the judge hasn’t learned anything.”
The professor of legal ethics declined to say what punishment would be appropriate.
However, Montana’s Supreme Court can remove judges found to have violated the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct.
Several groups are preparing to file a formal complaint against the judge with the State Judicial Standard’s Commission. The complaints will outline the alleged violations of the judicial code and include as witnesses the names of 140,000 people who have signed petitions calling for the judge’s ouster. The judge suddenly has no more comments to make. This case has revealed broader problems in the legal system’s treatment of rape victims.
Under state law, the proceedings of the commission will remain confidential unless the matter is referred to the Supreme Court for potential disciplinary action.
The commission can also mete out light punishments of its own, such as admonishing judges either publicly or in private.
- Teen’s rapist to be freed after serving 1-month sentence (amarillo.com)
- Montana rapist freed after 30 days (bbc.co.uk)
- Ex-Mont. teacher freed after 30-day term for rape (mtstandard.com)
- Teacher Rapist Released From Jail (4umf.com)
Teen’s rapist to be freed after serving 1-month sentence
Posted: September 26, 2013 – 8:22am
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AP PhotoThis undated photo courtesy of Auliea Hanlon shows Cherice Moralez, who was raped in 2007 when she was 14 by teacher Stacey Rambold in Billings, Mont. Rambold is due to be released from prison on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 after serving just 30 days. The short sentence triggered a backlash against the judge who handled the case, including calls for him to be removed from the bench. Please click below to see a picture of Cherice Moralez and of the rapist teacher of Billings, Montana.
Teen’s rapist to be freed after serving 1-month sentence (amarillo.com)