Judge's pathetic 30-day prison sentence for pedophile rapist might just be illegal
The Montana judge who sentenced a teacher to only 30 days in prison for the rape of a 14-year-old student is now admitting that he might have made a mistake--an illegal one, at that!
Judge G. Todd Baugh sparked public outrage after first announcing the poor excuse for a punishment, which he justified by saying the young victim (who later committed suicide) "seemed older" than her age. But though he initially defended his ruling, it was recently revealed he scheduled a new hearing for Friday. So why the sudden change of heart?
As it turns out, the mandatory minimum for the teacher's crime appears to be two years, not 30 days! "The Defendant shall be present at argument as the Court, if necessary and appropriate, will amend the mandatory minimum portion of the sentence," a court order filed on Tuesday read. The document went on to proclaim that imposing a sentence that doesn't meet "the mandatory minimum" would be considered illegal.
I, like many others, was shocked when I first heard that the convicted rapist was only given a month in prison and found the sentencing wrong on pretty much every level. So I'm not at all surprised to hear that another hearing has been called, especially given all of the controversy and attention surrounding the case. And while two years still doesn't seem anywhere near enough punishment for this evil man (he's a teacher who raped a 14-year-old girl!), it's definitely better than a month.
But though I'm just glad that someone out there is obviously listening to the public outcry and demanding a reevaluation of the ruling, I can't help but think of what a gross reflection Baugh is of the justice system. Putting aside how ironic it is that he (a JUDGE) might have himself committed an illegal act by giving out such a light sentence, it's unnerving and appalling that he ever thought that 30 days was enough of a punishment to begin with. Hopefully, in this second hearing, he'll actually do his job and dole out some real justice.
Image via CNN