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The Montana judge who became a national subject of ridicule for saying a 14-year-old rape victim was "older than her chronological age" and "as much in control of the situation" as her rapist was formally censured Tuesday by the state's highest court — and forgiven by the victim's family.
State District Judge G. Todd Baugh of Billings last year sent Stacey Rambold, one of the girl's teachers, to jail for only 30 days for the 2007 incident with the student, who killed herself in 2010. After months of controversy, during which Baugh apologized as protesters marched outside his courthouse, the state Supreme Court ordered a new sentencing and slammed the judge's "inappropriate comments," which it said "have eroded public confidence in the judiciary."
The censure, essentially a public reprimand, comes with a 31-day suspension that Baugh is to serve in December. In a statement Tuesday to NBC station KULR of Billings, the victim's family said it "forgives Judge Baugh for his misguided and hurtful statements and hopes that the focus can return to making sure Stacey Rambold is adequately sentenced for raping a 14-year-old girl while he was her teacher."