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Montana judge admits fault for blaming victim of rape

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A Montana judge, under fire for suggesting a 14-year-old girl was partly to blame for being raped by a teacher, admitted on Tuesday that he violated judicial standards and invited censure from the state’s highest court, documents show.

Judge G. Todd Baugh drew fierce public criticism last year when he sentenced the former teacher, 54-year-old Stacey Rambold, to just a month in prison for the 2007 sexual assault of his student, Cherice Moralez, who later killed herself.

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In a complaint filed with the Montana Supreme Court earlier this month, a Montana panel that oversees jurists sought to discipline him over the sentence as well as for saying the girl appeared “older than her chronological age,” and “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher.

The Montana Judicial Standards Commission said Baugh undermined public confidence in the judiciary, created an appearance of impropriety and “justified the unlawful sentence by blaming the child victim,” according to papers from the commission.

Baugh, in a response filed with the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, agreed that his comments violated judicial codes.

“My remarks … were the proximate cause of the firestorm of criticism and, thus, in violation of” judicial conduct, he wrote in legal documents, in which he also waived formal proceedings before the commission to submit himself to the state supreme court for reprimand or censure.

But the judge, who has said he would not run for re-election when his term expires at the end of the year, rejected the commission’s description of the rape sentence as overly lenient.

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“It is a subjective observation. In any sentence, it is possible that some see it as lenient while others may see it as harsh,” Baugh wrote.

The judge technically sentenced the former Billings high school teacher to 15 years in prison with all but 31 days suspended and gave him credit for one day served.

State prosecutors have asked Montana justices to overturn the sentence, arguing that state laws required Rambold to serve a minimum of two years in prison for his crime.

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It was unclear on Tuesday when Baugh might face disciplinary action or what penalties were to be imposed.

The commission has declined to say if it was seeking a reprimand or Baugh’s ouster, but said it received eight formal complaints against Baugh as well as hundreds of emails, letters and phone calls from those outraged by his remarks and the light sentence.

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The Montana chapter of the National Organization for Women, which lodged one of the formal complaints, wants him ousted, its president Marian Bradley said on Tuesday.

“There is only one right decision to be made in this case: remove Baugh from the bench,” she said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and G Crosse)

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Team Trump wants to steal another election — and there’s only one way to beat them back

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When I was growing up at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, back in the early 1960s, my mother drove down to Kansas City one morning to go shopping and have lunch with an old friend of her mother’s. Ladies going out shopping and having lunch in the upscale Country Club Plaza in Kansas City was almost a formal occasion. I remember she put on a summery suit and heels and stockings, and I’m pretty sure she wore a pair of white cotton gloves.

When she returned a few hours later, she wasn’t carrying any bags from the shops, and she was seething. The woman she’d eaten lunch with was married to a man who owned a chain of downtown hotels in major cities around the country. They lived in a big Tudor house in Mission Hills, the Beverly Hills of the Midwest. She drove a Cadillac. She was rich.

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#LetLevSpeak: Giuliani henchman’s attorney explains why his client wants to testify against Devin Nunes

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An attorney for indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas warned Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., that “Lev remembers” their phone calls — even if the Intelligence Committee’s top Republican does not.Phone records obtained from AT&T and released in the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report revealed four phone calls between Nunes and Parnas on April 12, amid the smear campaign that ousted then-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, including one which lasted longer than eight minutes. Parnas, who played a key role in Giuliani’s hunt for damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden, was later indicted on campaign finance charges. Prosecutors have said he is still under investigation for more crimes.However, Nunes now claims that he cannot not recall speaking with Parnas.
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Why are cops around the world using this outlandish mind-reading tool?

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The police gave Ricky Joyner a pen and a nine-page questionnaire.

Write what you did, beginning to end, on the day Sandra Hernandez disappeared, one question asked.

“Went ot work …,” Joyner wrote, transposing the letters in “to.” “Went home toke shower got dress pick Sandra up … went out to eat … went the movies … toke Sandra home … stop at [bar] for little while, then spent the night with a grilfriend.”

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