Archive for Montana

Montana Rape Judge Does It Again

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rape Judge Todd Baugh

You might not recognize this jurist's face, or even his name, but you will most surely remember why he made the news about three months back. Take a good look. Need a hint? The punishment he meted out for a rapist? Remember now?  The assailant was a teacher. The victim was his 14 year old student and after the attack, she killed herself.

Okay, final clue:

The judge sentenced the teacher to one month in jail, arguing that the girl shared responsibility for her rape because she appeared “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher.

Sure, now you got it. And he sentenced the rapist to what ended up being less than a month in jail.

Well, seems justice by this justice hasn't really become any saner since that debacle of jurisprudence. Judge Baugh recently heard a case of vandalism. Evidently shooting out windows with a BB gun is far more significant and heinous than rape.

Raw Story:

District Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced 21-year-old Brandon Turell to 10 years in prison, with five of those years suspended, and ordered him to pay about $13,600 in restitution, reported the Billings Gazette.

What happens next though puts the frosting on the cake. The judge gives the vandalism perp 10 years, suspends five of them, and caps it with a large fine.  Then he lectures the convicted fast food service worker on how he should get a better (higher paying)  job so he can pay back the victims quickly.

Wait, how's he going to pay back the victims quickly if he's doing 5 years in jail? If he can suspend the rapist's sentence down to a month, and he's so concerned about the victims getting restitution, then why not let this man free to work to pay off the victims?

And it gets a cherry on top of the frosting on this delicious cake.

Burger King Whopper

The judge asked Turell, who bonded out of jail about 18 months ago, what he had done to pay back his victims, and Turell said he had been working at Burger King.

“Why can’t you get a real job?” Baugh asked.

Turell said he made $9.50 an hour working at the fast food restaurant, and Baugh again suggested he get a “real job” that paid better.

A real job? Is this judge serious? $9.50/hr is two bucks above minimum wage. If he doesn't think making that kind of money is real money, then what does that say about the minimum wage?

This jurist is totally out of whack with the real world. Justice in this judge's hands is a dangerous thing. Rapists go free. Rape victims are disposable (the girl victim is dead). But vandalism victims are sacrosanct.

Oh, and how stupid is it to order someone to pay for the damages they caused, then take away their only way to pay the victims back by jailing the criminal for 5 years? I don't know how much they pay prisoners in Montana, but I gotta believe they pay a lot less for punching out license plates than they do for serving a Whopper with fries at the King.

Pity the fools who live in Montana if this is their version of justice.

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Sunday Links

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GOP candidate wants immigration moratorium because they "support the Democrat party"

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immigration moratorium

A Montana Republican who is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representative is calling for a "moratorium on all immigration." Why? Because, according to Drew Turiano, if we let those lefty liberal commie pinko Marxist Kenyan gay French Mexican immigrants cross the borders, they'll all vote for Democrats. And if that happens, you know what comes next, right?

*Ominous music, deep echoing voice* The End of the Republican Party!

So clearly, the best remedy is to full on stop anyone from entering our territory. Gotta keep this country white and conservative, dammit!

Via the Montana Standard:

I believe in a moratorium on all immigration to America,” he said. “The reason I believe in that, it will be the end of conservatism in this country. The majority of immigrants who come to America are big government people. They’re going to mostly support the party of big government, the Democrat Party. They will not support the party of small government, the Republican Party.

“Because this is a fact of life, it will mean that the Republican Party will never win another national election again in about 10-15 years time. … I’m hoping that we can do something to immigration and put a stop to it, so the Republican Party doesn’t go the way of the Whigs.”

Drew Turiano's pitch to voters? "I will do only what’s in the best interests of the people of Montana and the people of my country.”

Best interests? He must have forgotten about all those pesky little benefits of immigration like being good for the economy, driving innovation and retaining the best global talent, keeping us less isolated, enhancing multilingualism, spurring job growth, reducing the deficit, stuff like that.

Instead, he believes that by preventing diversity, we can suppress Democratic votes and postpone the demise of the GOP. Drew must have also forgotten that they've already written their own autopsy.

It must have slipped what's left of his mind that the Party of No has managed to further exacerbate its outreach problem (scroll) and alienate voters all on its own without resorting to a complete immigration ban. Wake up, Drew, your party is already well on its way to a self-imposed obsolescence.

outreach my ass reach out inclusive

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Thursday Links

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"Boys Will Be Boys" No Longer Justification For Rape in Montana

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Rape in Montana

Sometimes it's great to set a precedent. It opens the doors to those who follow. You might be Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Or maybe Neil Armstrong, the first man to step onto the lunar surface. Admirable accomplishments that lead young, middle and old to dream of someday being the first to do something, big or small. I mean, wouldn't that be great?

Well, not always. Seems there's a prosecutor named  Fred Van Valkenburg up on Montana whose office may have just set a first. They has been accused by the Justice Department of bias against female sexual assault victims and of mishandling rape cases according to federal officials this week. But Missoula County prosecutors office thinks its just a smear campaign. They didn't do anything wrong.

HuffPo:

It's unusual and may be unprecedented for DOJ to accuse a prosecutor's office of violating the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law and the Safe Streets Act's prohibition against discriminating against female sexual assault victims. DOJ has issued findings involving sexual assault cases against three police departments, a sheriff's office and a campus police agency -- but not a prosecutor's office.

So we're looking at virgin territory here, with this DOJ accusation. If there's smoke where there's fire, lets see what's cookin'.

Jocelyn Samuels, acting assistant attorney general in DOJ's Civil Rights Division, told Van Valkenburg in a letteron Friday that his office was ill-prepared to prosecute sexual assault cases, treated victims with disrespect and "apparently leaves sexual assault and rape laws largely unenforced."

That's a pretty serious charge against the office. And it seems these claims of abuse and deaf ears by the prosecutors are numerous. One woman described dealing with her assault at the prosecutors office as "traumatic," as if the crime alone wasn't harrowing enough. Others said they were treated with no compassion whatsoever. These alleged victims felt "judged." That's hardly the way any victim wants to be made to feel when they're seeking out justice.

One woman was told that because "there was no video of the incident," prosecutors "wouldn't see this as anything more than a girl getting drunk at a party." What message is that sending? Yet Van Valkenburg who runs the office thinks he's being picked on. He claims these are just a few small examples and they shouldn't be taken with much more than a grain of salt.

Really? They shouldn't be taken seriously. Well how about this:

A clinical psychologist who counseled sexual assault victims said she had heard so many horror stories about the County Attorney's Office that she was reluctant to press charges with the office when she was sexually assaulted.

When even a psychologist with experience in this field is hesitant to move forward with her claim because of first hand knowledge of the abusive handling of such matters by the prosecutor's office, this is only the tip of the iceberg up in Missoula.

In one case, a woman whose 5-year-old daughter was assaulted by an adolescent boy asked why the boy's punishment was two years of community service. A prosecutor told her "boys will be boys," according to the DOJ letter.

Boys will be boys. Well hopefully the new boys and girls examining this office, will bring down the wrath of justice with the power of Thor and his hammer, Mjölnir.

Thor's hammer

Sad as all of this is, this Montana office isn't alone. And sexual crimes against women AND men are vastly under-reported because of louts like Attorney Van Valkenberg. Time to do a bit more investigating the investigators for their improper behavior. Women and men victims deserve better.

Just like the firsts of Ederle and Armstrong, they were followed by second and thirds accomplishing their amazing feats. Let's hope this trend continues with the DOJ.

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Saturday Links

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