Target: Judge G. Todd Baugh
Goal: Denounce Judge Baugh for sentencing rapist to only 30 days in prison for raping a 14-year-old student
In 2008, Stacey Dean Rambold, a then-49-year-old teacher at Billings Senior High School in Montana entered into a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student. After school officials became aware of the relationship, Rambold resigned and was later charged with “three counts of sexual intercourse without consent,” according to a report by CNN. As the case went to court, the teen involved in the incident committed suicide just before she would have turned 17. In the aftermath of the teen’s tragic death, Rambold was offered a “deferred prosecution agreement,” meaning that if he successfully completed a sex offender treatment program, all charges against him would be dropped.
However, Rambold failed to complete the program, violating the deferred prosecution agreement, and the case involving the teenage student was recently reopened. Despite Rambold’s admitted involvement with the teen who later committed suicide, as well as the prosecution’s demand that he be imprisoned for 20 years, the judge presiding over the case, Judge G. Todd Baugh ended up sentencing Rambold to only a month in prison.
During the trial, Rambold’s defense argued that he had “already suffered enough,” as he had lost his career, his marriage and faced the “scarlet letter of the internet,” regarding the media publicity surrounding the case. This clear display of sympathy for an admitted rapist is surely bad enough, but it appeared during the trial that Judge Baugh shared similar sentiments as well. He is quoted as stating that, “[The incident is] not probably the kind of rape most people think about… it was not a violent, forcible, beat-the-victim rape, like you see in the movies.” Furthermore, he claimed that the teen “seemed older than her chronological age,” and “was as much in control of the situation [as Rambold].” Judge Baugh’s statements clearly sympathize with the rapist, and seem to try to circumvent the fact that the teen involved was just that, a teenager. He ultimately sentenced Rambold to 15 years in prison, and then promptly suspended all but a month of that sentence, stating that the former teacher is “treatable,” and at a “low risk to re-offend.”
The victim’s mother, Auliea Hanlon called Rambold’s sentencing a “travesty.” She expressed extreme distress when the verdict was read, and stated that she had lost faith in the justice system. She maintains that her daughter’s death was due to the relationship with Rambold and the psychological effects she suffered afterwards.
Condemn Judge Baugh’s sentencing of this admitted rapist to a paltry 30 days in prison, and for clearly placing partial blame on the victim of Rambold’s assault. Tell Judge Baugh that this type of discourse has no place in the justice system, and will not be tolerated.
Dear Judge G. Todd Baugh,
Your recent sentencing of admitted rapist Stacey Dean Rambold to just 30 days in prison for raping a 14-year-old student is absolutely deplorable. The student, who later took her life likely due to the effects of this relationship with Rambold, was in no way to blame for what occurred. Your statement that she appeared “older than her chronological age” reveals a disturbing sentiment that places less blame on the rapist, and more blame on the victim. Whatever she may have seemed, this victim was an underage teen, and therefore, any sexual relationship between her and Rambold is entirely the fault of the former teacher.
Rambold’s sentence of 30 days in prison is a slap in the face to both the victim and her family. It reveals a certain, reprehensible sympathy for the rapist, rather than the teenage victim of his actions. This man deserves what has happened to him, the loss of his career, marriage and credibility, because he brought it upon himself. Furthermore, he deserves to be legally punished for his crimes and should face far more than a mere month in prison.
This sad misappropriation of blame and lack of justice does not belong in our justice system, and will not be tolerated.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Brian Turner via Wikimedia