BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge said he plans to retire at the end of the year after drawing widespread condemnation for saying that a 14-year-old rape victim appeared "older than her chronological age."
District Judge Todd Baugh said his decision to step down after three decades on the bench was unrelated to the public uproar over his actions in the case of Stacey Rambold, a former business teacher convicted of raping a freshman student at Billings Senior High School.
"It doesn't have anything to do with that," Baugh told The Associated Press.
The 72-year-old judge added that his time on the bench had been rewarding and he looked forward to spending more time with his five grandchildren.
The judge has repeatedly apologized for his remarks in the Rambold case. He also made an unsuccessful attempt to re-sentence the former teacher after prosecutors said the short prison term given to Rambold violated state law.
The rape victim's mother, Auliea Hanlon, said Tuesday that she was focused on a pending appeal of Rambold's sentence before the Montana Supreme Court, and that Baugh's fate was not a major concern. But Hanlon said she "felt a little bad" for the judge.
"He had 30 years of service and nobody's going to remember him but for this one incident," she said.
Baugh, the son of former Washington Redskins quarterback "Slingin' Sammy" Baugh, first disclosed his retirement plans in an interview with Billings television station KTVQ.