Critics want Montana judge removed

30-day sentence for rape of student, 14, drew broad outrage

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Opponents of a Montana judge who handed down a 30-day sentence to a former teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old student asked state regulators Tuesday to remove the jurist from the bench.

Representatives from groups including the Montana National Organization for Women and MoveOn.org submitted the complaint against Judge G. Todd Baugh to the state Judicial Standards Commission in Helena. The representatives also said they delivered petitions with more than 140,000 signatures urging that the judge be removed.

"We are at the Montana Judicial Standards Commission today to take a stand for every victim of sexual assault, including my daughter, and to demand the removal of Judge G. Todd Baugh," said Marian Bradley, president of the Montana Organization for Women. "Judge Baugh is a man who believes 30 days in jail for a middle-aged rapist targeting young girls is appropriate, and frankly that is completely out of step with our values and laws in Montana. We demand action on this case, and we won't stand for anything short of his removal."

The complaint says that Baugh acted inappropriately when he gave rapist Stacey Rambold a lenient sentence that prosecutors have since appealed as illegal. Rambold is due to be released from prison Thursday.

Cherice Moralez, the victim, killed herself in 2010 before the case went to trial.

If the five-member judicial commission decides Baugh's actions in the case were inappropriate, it can forward the complaint to the state Supreme Court, which has the power to remove him from the bench.