What would you say if the sexual predator who directly caused your 16-year-old daughter’s death walked free after a month in jail? Quoth mother Auliea Hanlon:
“People will lose faith in our justice system.” Correction; that happened a decade ago. And Judge G. Todd Baugh is part of the reason why.
For 49-year-old Rambold’s crime of spending years molding 14-year-old Cherice Morales into a sexual object, Rambold was originally given a “Deferred prosecution” on three counts on non-consensual sex. For those not familiar with the legal system, “deferred judgement” means that “We’re really busy throwing young, healthy potheads in jail for a year at a time, and old sex offenders are expensive. Go to a sexual offender class, stay away from kids and do some other stuff, and you walk.”
After a technical violation involving an unapproved but supervised visit with child family members, Rambold went back to court. Judge Baugh rightly sentenced him to 15 years in state prison per the original sentencing guidelines. Then he suspended all but 31 days of the sentence. Hanlon’s incredulous reaction:
“You people SUCK.”
What was Baugh’s reasoning? First that:
“”I think that people have in mind that this was some violent, forcible, horrible rape…It was horrible enough as it is just given her age, but it wasn’t this forcible beat-up rape.”
Baugh following this up with the statement that (according to video-taped interviews with the girl prior to her death) the 14-year-old Moralez was “‘as much in control of the situation’ as Rambold” and that she seemed “older than her chronological age.” So, falling back on the Old White “blame the victim” logic, Baugh concluded that “what we had here was a troubled young girl.”
To be fair, Baugh was right…they DID have just another troubled, young girl. Some sassy, cynical little slut just waiting to give it up to old, white guys. And HE would KNOW. Ahem.
But what Baugh failed to take into account though is that maybe that “troubled young girl” was “troubled” because she started out as a child who had been manipulated by a predator three times her age, molded into a living sex doll without any regard for her own happiness, and who couldn’t show up to school for an education without getting called “slut” or “whore” by all of her classmates. This monster MOLDED her into the thing he desired, and then left her to rot in misery and ridicule.
Yeah, I’d be a pretty troubled kid too. That sort of thing will put a few years on you.
The people of Billings are protesting, screaming for the judge’s resignation. There’s a petition, if you wish to sign it. But what they should be screaming for is for Ariel Castro to set up shop in Montana, and keep Baugh and Rambold tied to the foot of his bed for a few years. THAT’S a “justice system” I could have faith in.
Watch the report, courtesy of CNN: