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Women’s rights groups speak out after a controversial rape sentencing

Published On: Sep 17 2013 10:53:22 PM MDT
Women’s rights groups speak out after a controversial rape sentencing
MISSOULA, Mont. -

A controversial sentencing for rape has women's rights organizations working to get a Montana judge off the bench.

The anti-sexism group UltraViolet has collected nearly 84,000 signatures on a petition demanding Judge G. Todd Baugh be removed; this comes after he sentenced a former teacher and child rapist to 30 days in jail.

We spoke with Marian Bradley, President for the Montana chapter of the National Organization for Woman, who says the group has nearly 350 letters written by sex assault survivors urging for Baugh's termination.

“He said oh well I guess I made a mistake because I didn't really know the law but how can a judge not know the law in a rape case?” says Bradley.  “This is just crazy, ludicrous and people in this country are saying I’ve been sexually assaulted and I should not have to be re-victimized by the judicial system this is not okay.”

Bradley explains that after news a child rapist would only spend 30 days behind bars came out that the group new they needed to do something.

“We've been asking people all over the country, in fact all over the world, to send in complaints to the Montana Judicial Standards Commission asking them to investigate this judge and to potentially remove him from office,” she says.  “In Montana we could go to our state legislature but the l won't meet until 2015 and he's up for re-election in 2014.”

“This judge said because she looked older than her 14 year old photos, or she sounded older, that she was a willing participant,” Bradley tells NBC Montana.   “She was not the legal age to give consent - the legal age to give consent in the state of Montana is 16 and she was 14.”

Bradley says the group is aware of rape issues at the University of Montana and she tell us if they feel it necessary the group will call on the Department of Justice to do a full investigation

“Rape is a rape is a rape and it doesn't matter if you're 5, 15, 25, 95 rape is still rape,” she says.

The petitions and letters will be submitted to the Montana Judicial Standards Commission next Tuesday the 24.