Hundreds Protest Judge Baugh Over Rape Sentence - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Hundreds Protest Judge Baugh Over Rape Sentence

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A protest outside the Yellowstone County Courthouse Thursday demanding a judge's resignation drew hundreds of people.

Monday, Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced a former teacher at Senior High School to 31 days in jail for the rape of a 14-year-old. But, it was his comments during the sentencing that set off a fire storm of criticism.

Baugh said the student acted older than her chronological age, and that she was as much in control of the situation as the teacher was.

"Not only in the Billings community, but in the nation and around the world, there is a growing sentiment that we will no longer stand by while individuals speak about victims in this way," says Kate Olp, an organizer of the protest.

It's something that the victim's mother, Aulieu Hanlon, hopes will make a difference.

"You know, maybe it will change something for someone. Thank you all for coming. Thank you, thank you, thank you," says Hanlon.

Shouts and signs show the goal of the protest is that the Billings community won't allow victim bashing and they want to impeach the judge of nearly 30 years.

"His lack of understanding about the realties of abuse exist in such a great degree that it's impeding his ability to judge fairly," says Olp.

But Judge Baugh apologized for his remarks calling them "stupid" and "dumb."

"Ladies and gentlemen, in the Rambold sentencing, I made some references and control. I'm not sure just what I was attempting to say at that point but it didn't come out correct. What I said was demeaning to all women not what I believe in and irrelevant to the sentencing. I owe all our fellow citizens an apology. As to the sentence itself I'll add an addendum to the court file to hopefully better explain the sentence. Thank you," says 13th Judicial District Court Judge G. Todd Baugh.

"In Judge Baugh's apology he stated very boldly that he didn't know what he was trying to say. As a Judge, it's his job to know what it is that he's saying. It's his job to know exactly what he's ruling and why he's ruling on it," says Olp.

Rambold's sentence of 31 days after violating a plea agreement outraged the community, but Yellowstone County District Attorney Scott Twito and other attorneys including Brad Arndorfer say it's a legal sentence.

"As long as a judge stays within the sentencing guidelines, it's a legal sentence," says Arndorfor. "If it's within the sentencing structure set out by the legislature, it's a legal sentence. We're not going to review it for that. They don't court sentences for whether it was right or wrong, rather was it legal?"

Regardless, the judge's comments are what brought on this protest.

"What it means is that we're saying not in our town," says Olp.

An online protest asking for the judge to step down reaching more than 34,000 people as of Thursday evening.

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