Montana Judge Apologizes for Rape Victim Comments, Stands By Sentencing

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A Montana judge has apologized for comments he made regarding the rape of a 14-year old, though he is standing by his controversial sentencing in the same case.

Yellowstone County Judge G. Todd Baugh came under fire this week when he sentenced Stacey Rambold to only 30 days in jail for the rape of his former student, Cherice Morales, in 2008.

Morales went on to commit suicide two years later.

But criticism of Baugh - along with a petition seeking his resignation - truly amped up after he said Morales was "as much in control of the situation" as Rambold.

He added that the 14-year old was "older than her chronological age."

"I don't know what I was thinking or trying to say," Baugh now tells The Billings Gazette, admitting that he was wrong to say that, but not in his decision.

"It was just stupid and wrong... What I said is demeaning of all women, not what I believe and irrelevant to the sentencing. My apologies to all my fellow citizens."

Yet while Baugh wishes he could take back these remarks, he is standing by the seemingly light sentencing itself.

He told reporters that he believes the 30 days are appropriate given the nature of the case, comparing the controversial hearing Monday to a probation violation in which a defendant is re-sentenced for violating terms of a suspended sentence.

In court at the time, prosecutors recommended Stacey Rambold receive a sentence of 20 years in prison, with 10 years suspended.

He received far, far less than that of course.

But as far as the outrage surrounding his statements during this hearing, Baugh said it was "perfectly understandable."

A protest against the judge remains scheduled for today.

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