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Board says Montana judge should be disciplined

Judge G. Todd Baugh was also cited for suspending all but one month of a rapist’s 15-year sentence.

Larry Mayer/Billings Gazette/AP

Judge G. Todd Baugh was also cited for suspending all but one month of a rapist’s 15-year sentence.

BILLINGS, Mont. — A judicial oversight board is seeking disciplinary action against a state judge for saying a 14-year-old rape victim was ‘‘older than her chronological age’’ and sentencing her rapist to just one month in prison, according to court documents released Tuesday.

The Montana Judicial Standards Commission said in a complaint filed with the state Supreme Court that District Judge G. Todd Baugh in Billings had eroded public confidence in the judiciary with his actions in the case.

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The commission did not specify what disciplinary action should be taken. Its rules allow for actions ranging from a private admonition of the judge to his removal from the bench.

Baugh, 72, has apologized for his handling of the case and plans to retire at the end of the year.

He said Tuesday that he had not yet seen the complaint and could not comment on it.

The commission is alleging that Baugh’s statements about the victim were inconsistent with a state law that requires child rape victims to be evaluated based only on their age — not on a ‘‘subjective’’ judgment of their physical maturity or control of the situation.

The complaint also charges that the prison sentence given to rapist Stacey Rambold was ‘‘overly lenient’’ and illegal under state law. Baugh sentenced the former teacher to 15 years in prison with all but one month suspended barring further violations.

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