It was the sentence heard ‘round the world: last week Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced a former high school teacher to just 30 days in jail for sexual assault for having sex with a14-year-old female student who committed suicide after the story went public. The suicide was not only a horrible tragedy, it deprived prosecutors of their lead witness and made the case harder to make. The defendant had a chance to get the charges dropped if he completed a treatment program, but he was kicked out of it for multiple violations. But for some reason, Judge Baugh sentenced him to 20 years, with all but 30 days suspended. He also made some comments about the young victim that people took as putting some of the blame for her assault on her.

Those comments, and the 30-day sentence ignited a nationwide backlash. Within days, a petition demanding the judge be removed had gathered over 45,000 signatures. Well, what a difference a week makes. This week, Judge Baugh declared that he misread the state law. The sentence should have been two years, minimum. He’s set a new sentencing hearing. And as for his comments about the victim being partly to blame? He said he was being a “blithering idiot.” I think that’s one sentence of his that nobody will argue with.

Comments 1-3 of 3

  • Scooby low

    09/27/2014 01:40 AM

    I've been waiting for over 4 years for a simple divorce from judge, David Ortley.
    I've spent all I had, lost a home, and most of my possessions.
    Meanwhile the crap continues.
    My young boys are confused, trapped, and being brainwashed by hatred.
    Not sure what justice, or 50/50 state means.
    Apparently it means losing everything you've ever worked for, killing your children's dreams and dragging them through hell.
    While you wait for a judge to make a ruling.
    While the judge chases his dreams of moving up in the system. My boys and I. Apart, wait, and wait for better days.
    You ever tried having a relationship with the most wonderful person in the world?
    But you can't move forward, or make plans, or get health ins.
    For yourself or your boys?
    Or get married to make it all real.

    If anyone has answers, comments, or info to get out of this train wreck .
    Please help.

  • Genavonvil

    11/16/2013 01:09 AM

    The right is already ciiriciztng the idea that Obama will hold more press conferences.Sean Hannity has a countdown to Election Day 2012. I hope Obama goes after the FCC and pushes for better regulation. I hope he forces Fox News to either have to change their name to Fox Opinion or really present news.I don't mind some commentary in my news but they really need to sprinkle some news in their programs.

  • Riley Barton

    09/07/2013 10:27 AM

    Sounds pretty normal for Montana judges. In 2005 my dad was the victim a hit-and-run involving a man who was driving with a suspended license, with three prior DUIs. At the time of the accident he was again, driving under the influence of not only alcohol, but also various other drugs. According to eyewitnesses at the scene, he INTENTIONALLY swerved off the road to hit my dad, who was riding a bicycle along the side of the road. He hit him at over 50mph, then accelerated and drove up into Glacier National Park where he then attempted suicide three different times by repeatedly jumping into the river. (it was April, so he of course got hypothermia and had to be rushed to the hospital for treatment) In addition to all this, he was uninsured.
    However, my family was never notified about his court date, and only heard about it the day after sentencing when it was in the news paper; less than a week after the "accident". You can imagine our outrage to learn that, not only were we not allowed to testify, but that he received a--you guessed it-- 30 sentence from Judge DAVID M ORTLEY. According to state laws he should have received a minimum of 30 years just for his first two offenses, not to mention attempted murder and driving without insurance! However, not only did Judge Ortley "slap his hand" with this sentence, he over turned it in two weeks due to "good behavior". Since then, this same person has been through our local judicial system two more times. All for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Both of these times, he's been to the same judge. And both these times he got out in less than a month. As of today, Judge Ortley is STILL in office, and is STILL handing out "pardons" to anyone who comes through his courtroom.
    So yeah, let's just say that if you want to get away with sometihng, you'd better do it in Montana. Of course, everyone in Montana has a gun, and there is a law allowing for use of deadly force if you feel your life is about to be threatened, so maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea. Especially considering they'd probably have more success taking justice into their own hands than relying on our judicial system.

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