Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

Montana judge orders man to write 'boys do not hit girls' 5,000 times

The Montana judge who sparked ire by sentencing a former teacher to 30 days in jail for the rape of a 14-year-old girl has ordered a man convicted of punching his girlfriend to write "Boys do not hit girls," 5,000 times.

District Judge G. Todd Baugh, whose actions in the rape case sparked a national furor and a petition drive to have state officials take disciplinary action, sentenced Pace Anthony Ferguson on Monday to the writing exercise, in addition to six months in jail, for fracturing the woman's face in three places during an August 2012 argument.

Ferguson, 27, also was ordered to pay $3,800 in medical bills that came as a result of the woman's injuries.

Baugh told Ferguson to number the list, 1 through 5,000, sign it and mail it to him by May 23, according to the Billings Gazette. The six months in county jail is the maximum allowed sentence for the misdemeanor assault.

Ferguson made two appearances in court on Monday.

After being sentenced by Baugh, Ferguson appeared before District Judge Gregory Todd for a disposition hearing. The judge ruled that Ferguson had violated the terms of his release from prison after a 2003 robbery conviction and ordered the man to spend eight years in state prison.

In August, Baugh sentenced Stacey Rambold, 54, a former teacher, to 30 days for raping the teenager, who later committed suicide. Baugh said the teenager was "as much in control of the situation" as her teacher, and referred to her as a troubled youth "older than her chronological age."

The teenager was 16 when she killed herself in 2010 after the case was sent to criminal court.

The state is appealing the sentence, and women's groups are calling for Baugh's removal from the bench.

After the national uproar over the sentence, he apologized for his remarks, but not the sentence.

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