08.29.1312:52 PM ET

Judge Defends Short Rape Sentence

Had said then-14-year-old victim was “older than her years.”

A Montana judge backtracked Thursday after issuing a 30-day sentence for a teacher convicted of raping a then-14-year-old girl (who killed herself just shy of her 17th birthday). The judge, G. Todd Baugh, in court had called the victim “older than her chronological age” and said she was “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher, Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison on sexual intercourse without consent—until Baugh shortened the sentence to 31 days. In his letter to the Billings Gazette, Baugh called his comments “demeaning of all women.” But he refused to budge on the light sentence, writing, “I think people have in mind that this was some violent, forcible, horrible rape ... It was horrible enough just given her age, but this wasn’t forcible, beat-up rape.”