MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry had harsh words for G. Todd Baugh, the Montana judge who has drawn national criticism over his decision to give a 49-year-old man a 30-day jail sentence for the rape of a 14-year-old girl who later committed suicide.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were exchanging your judicial robes for a Republican seat in Congress, ’cause you’re sounding a lot like former Senator Todd ‘legitimate rape’ Akin, before his comments got him voted out of office,” Harris-Perry said in an “open letter” to Baugh on Saturday.
Harris-Perry then reminded Baugh, who described Stacey Dean Rambold’s assault of Cherice Morales as “horrible enough as it is just given her age, but [not] this forcible beat-up rape” that, “rape is rape, full-stop” and that Baugh is sitting on the bench because he has been elected by voters.
“As easily as you have been re-elected for the last 30 years, you can just as easily be voted out,” Harris-Perry warned. “Maybe then you’ll finally understand consent when you lose your judicial seat with the consent of the voters who put you there.”
Baugh had also described Morales, who killed herself two years after being raped by Rambold, as being “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as him, statements that Harris-Perry argued suggest taht he is not as familiar with his state’s laws as his position dictates.
“According to Montana law, a victim is incapable of giving consent if the victim is less than 16 years old — incapable of giving consent,” she said. “Because, Judge Baugh, a victim less than 16 years old — in this case, a 14-year-old is a child. A child like 44 percent of those who are victims of rape. And the law codifies our collective understanding that children deserve special protections because their youth and immaturity makes them inherently disempowered in a sexual, as you call it, ‘situation.’”
Watch Harris-Perry’s remarks for Baugh, aired Saturday, below.