Former Judge G. Todd Baugh. He was censured and suspended by the Montana Supreme Court in 2014 for blaming a 14-year old girl for the rape perpetrated on her by her high school teacher.
He blamed a 14-year-old for her rape. A young woman who died by suicide before the sentence was handed down. And then after blaming the victim, he gave the rapist a 30-day sentence in jail!
These actions occurred in Yellowstone County (Billings), Montana in August 2013. We and the nation were outraged at this victim-blaming, minimization of sexual assault exhibited by this member of the legal hierarchy. As a result, Montana NOW
(National Organization for Women) and Pennsylvania NOW
helped spearhead the call for the censure and suspension of Baugh along with the appropriate re-sentencing of the convicted rapist. We won – see here
for a summary of what happened.
Then a couple of weeks ago we heard about a local bar association’s plan to give Baugh a lifetime achievement award! We are appalled at this disregard for both the victims of sexual assault in general and the appellate court decision in this particular case.
The Yellowstone Area Bar Association association in Montana is HONORING a judge who was literally suspended for letting a rapist off the hook–and blaming the 14-year-old-victim? It’s rape culture at its worst, and if enough of us speak out, we can stop it from happening.
Since we first heard of this plan, lawyers, local activists in Montana, NOW members around the country, over 33,000 UltraViolet members, and the general public asked the Yellowstone Area Bar Association to reverse its decision. And local and national news coverage has been growing (see here and here for samples of local and national news coverage). But despite the backlash, the bar association is sticking to its guns.
So in addition to signing the petitions started by NOW and by UltraViolet, it’s time for us to call the Yellowstone Area Bar Association and demand that Bar Association President Jessica Fehr reverse this despicable decision.
I did. Will you take one minute to call, too? Here’s the link
from UltraViolet to make this call.
Let’s stop this terrible decision before it leaves the gate. And thanks for calling!