Lawyers' group says censured judge made mistake but his long career still worth recognition

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BILLINGS, Montana — A group of Montana lawyers says it is giving a lifetime achievement award to a state judge for his many years of service, despite the judge being censured last year for comments about a 14-year-old girl raped by her teacher.

The Yellowstone Area Bar Association on Friday issued a statement from its board of directors explaining its decision to honor former District Judge G. Todd Baugh of Billings.

The statement said Baugh's three decade career was worthy of recognition even though he made a "very public mistake" when he suggested the teen rape victim shared responsibility for the crime. Baugh sentenced perpetrator Stacey Dean Rambold to a month in prison in a decision overturned by the Montana Supreme Court.

Rambold was re-sentenced last year to a 10-year term. He's appealing.

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