Survivors' letter to Montana Judicial Standards Commission:
Judge Edward P. McLean, Chair Victor F. Valgenti, Vice Chair Members of the Judicial Standards Commission
Dear Judge McLean, Mr. Valgenti, and members of the Judicial Standards Commission:
We are writing as survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones.
Judge G. Todd Baugh's comments during his sentencing of Stacey Rambold should disqualify him as a judge in Montana's courts. Even worse is the mere 30-day sentence he issued for the rapes that contributed to the death of 14-year-old Cherice Moralez. Judge Baugh has shown that he doesn't understand the meaning of rape or Montana law.
When one in five women will be the victim of completed or attempted rape, it's unacceptable to allow our courts to perpetuate the idea that women and girls are responsible for the very crimes committed against them. Fewer than 3% of rapists spend a single day in jail. Baugh's comments and leniency on the rapist only help to convince survivors that the courts are not on their side. No one should ever feel that justice is impossible.
Judge Baugh should be removed from the bench immediately.
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Right now, Montana's courts are considering what to do about the judge who sentenced a rapist to just 30 days in jail. In the sentencing hearing, Judge Baugh justified the light sentence by blaming the 14-year-old victim for her own rape.
Before they decide, the Judicial Standards Commission need to hear from survivors about the impact that Judge Baugh's actions have on women who have experienced rape and sexual assault. That's why Marian Bradley, a Montanan and the mother of a young survivor, wrote an open letter to the Judicial Standards Commission asking them to remove Judge Baugh from the bench immediately.
Can you co-sign Marian's letter?