The Montana Supreme Court cancelled Friday’s scheduled resentencing for Stacey Rambold, a teacher who was sentenced to 30 days in prison for raping a girl, 14, who later committed suicide. After a storm of criticism over the penalty, Judge G. Todd Baugh announced a resentencing hearing, but lawyers for both sides said he lacked the authority to change the sentence, reports the New York Times.
With the hearing off, Baugh recited the lengthy history of the case to television cameras and victims’ advocates. the judge has been serving on the bench since 1984. He faces challenges if he runs for re-election next year. Hundreds of protesters filled the courthouse lawn to condemn his comments about the rape case, saying they cast blame on a young victim. Thousands more have signed online petitions calling for a harsher sentence, or for Judge Baugh to resign. The Montana attorney general's office said the lenient sentence was illegal.