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By Maya Srikrishnan, Los Angeles Times

The Montana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a Billings judge for his comments that a 14-year-old rape victim was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as her rapist when he sentenced the offender to 31 days in prison.

District Judge G. Todd Baugh appeared Tuesday afternoon for censure — a rare public declaration by the state’s Supreme Court that he is guilty of misconduct.

Montana Chief Justice Mike McGrath told Baugh that through his “inappropriate comments” he has “eroded public confidence in the judiciary and created an appearance of impropriety,” according to court filings.

The Supreme Court also suspended Baugh for 31 days, effective in December.

Baugh sent Stacey Dean Rambold to prison for just 31 days last year after he pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent.

Rambold was a 47-year-old teacher at Billings Senior High School at the time of the 2007 rape. He had pleaded guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent and had been kicked out of a sexual offender treatment program for breaking rules.

The victim, one of his students, committed suicide before the case went to trial.

Baugh retroactively tried to change the sentence to toughen the terms. But the state prosecutors filed a complaint against Baugh and appealed the sentence as illegal because Montana requires a mandatory minimum of two years in prison for such a conviction, prosecutor Malin Steams Johnsons. In addition, according to state law, children younger than 16 cannot consent to sexual intercourse, Johnson had said.

The Montana Supreme Court blocked Baugh’s attempt to change the sentence and ordered a new sentencing by a different judge. Rambold, who completed the Baugh-ordered incarceration last fall, is scheduled to face that judge Sept. 26.

Photo: jimmywayne via Flickr

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

Screenshot from Aug. 25, 2020 edition of Daily Kos / Youtube

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

A federal district judge in New York ruled Monday that the U.S. Postal Service has to treat election mail as a priority, another loss for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in the courts. The judge, Victor Marrero, also ordered that overtime and extra deliveries had to be permitted by the USPS as election mail demands. This came in a suit brought by several candidates for office and New York voters against Donald Trump and DeJoy.

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