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Montana court sanctions judge for rape sentence

The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday censured a judge and suspended him for 31 days for improperly suggesting a 14-year-old girl was culpable in her rape and unlawfully sentencing the former teacher convicted of the crime to just a month in jail.

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State District Judge G. Todd Baugh was silent after Montana’s chief justice read aloud a censure statement at a brief hearing Tuesday in Helena, Mont.. Women’s rights activists have been seeking Baugh’s ouster for almost a year.

In court documents, Baugh admitted responsibility for imposing a lenient sentence on Stacey Rambold for the 2007 sexual assault of Cherice Moralez, but said his own punishment by the Supreme Court was excessive.

Baugh sentenced Rambold to 15 years in prison with all but 31 days suspended, and credit for one day served, during the hearing in August 2013.