The 30-Day Jail Sentence Wasn’t This Judge’s First Bad Decision

You may have heard the story of a Montana judge who sentenced a teacher to only 30 days in jail for having sex with a 14-year-old student who later committed suicide. (The judge has since ordered a retrial.)

Well, reader Zack pointed out to me something that has gone unnoticed by the media.

Judge G. Todd Baugh wears a power bracelet:

Matt Brown (Associated Press)

So I guess Baugh has a history of poor judgment

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • the moother

    He’s also got an amazing collection of pens and a desk full of paper like it’s 1982.

    A 15″ monitor and no keyboard??!?!? I doubt he’s ever tried that new-fangled email stuff…

    • Michael Harrison

      Maybe he’s cutting-edge and has a holographic keyboard?

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        If by that you mean that he keeps tapping on the magic hologram sticker on his bracelet for energy boosts, sure!

      • Mark W.

        Pfffft, cutting edge, what is this the dark ages. Everyone knows that it’s all about the sonic technology and psychic paper. Manual input computers are so old-school. If you can’t just think your commands you are living in the past my friend.

    • The Other Weirdo

      If we’re gonna bash on this guy, can we at least bash him on something real? The monitor sits on top of the system with the mouse to the left side, the keyboard is probably out of the way somewhere. Plenty of people still use paper and pen, don’t be so elitisit about your smartphone. I have one, and have tons of papers and pens because, you know, those are for real work while the smartphone is a toy for teenagers.

      • the moother

        There’s nothing elitist (whatever that means) about using technology. You’ve just got your back up because you’ve allowed yourself to get left behind too. Maybe this asshole judge could have delivered a more fitting sentence if he didn’t spend half his time moving piles around his desk

        In 2008 I reprogrammed my company’s database and made an office of 21 people paperless. We went from 80k pieces of papyrus per year down to 5k. The only documents left were those that came through the letterbox. Although those were scanned at the door and handled electronically from then on.

        Employees got a dual monitor setup and over-hours went down from an average of 12% to, well, some dudes just left after lunch and others were able to work from home and spend time more with their kids. Not to mention the efficiency of it all with having all that information at their fingertips and amazed customers who, when asking for docs from previous years, would have them in their inboxes within minutes instead of days or weeks… Yup, we scanned and e-filed 3 years of docs.

        Pens, paper, staplers, paper clips, dossier covers, files, archives, Tip-Ex (white-out), highlighters, printers, toners, etc, etc: all either gone totally or reduced to near zero…

        Get with the times, buddy… The “real work” you think you’re doing is probably only about 60% of what you could do if you embraced technology!

        • The Other Weirdo

          Papyrus, eh? Well, that was your problem. That stuff’s useless. Get thee to an office supply store and get some modern paper. You’ll see a difference.

          I remember somebody telling me once, in a proud voice, that they managed a 500MB database. As I said later, that was about 10% of one of our index files at the time. I am glad to you are so proud of your achievement. A 21 person office? Incredible! That’s like, the absolutely largest office I’ve heard of. Nobody else has anything larger?

          Dual monitors let your people work from home? Something here is not like the other.

          3 years of docs, huh? Wow! There aren’t any companies with document histories any longer than that, not possible.

          You know, dual monitors sound great, it really does. I use it, too. One monitor runs my office stuff, the other runs the remote VM. I still print out anything longer than one page and have the printer staple it for me. Resolution is much higher, it’s easier on the eyes, I can mark as many pages in it as I want and instantly flip anywhere to anywhere. I don’t to scroll up or down, much less sideways, and I can keep as many documents open as I need to, without hunting through dozens of windows with Alt-Tab. Which, incidentally, doesn’t work well when you run a VM. Window focus, too, isn’t a problem.

          I’ve been a programmer since what, 1988, for large companies and small. Sure, memos and calendars and all that are all email now, and that’s great. Voice mail, too. Great improvements. But they still make notebooks and pens for a reason, and that is that they just work.

          • the moother

            So, a geek says that the real work is done with pen and paper? And technology is just a toy? Whilst using VM’s etc? So, your first post was what? Just so you could use the word elitist?

            Also, you’re mistaken that bigger is better… Only small minds talk about size…I was the sole geek at my outfit…, they’re paperless… they love it… what’s the difference how big the company was? Result was there…, and in a high-tech country our office was the only SMB out of 200 in the country that got rid of the paper. They still have the title afaik.

            And, yes, 3 years of docs only, we left the other 4 as the cost/benefit calculation said scanning 3 was enough… by law we could destroy anything older than 7.

            So, tell us your amazing secret? What “real work” is it that you do that is more efficient in a notebook?

            • The Other Weirdo

              Y^ou know, I don’t have to justify myself to you, not when you are the one making fun of guy for not having a keyboard in the picture.

              • the moother

                Yeah…, something as easy as sharing the justification for your first post is now deflected in the most childish manner… I was sure I wouldn’t get an answer from you (because there isn’t one)… but I would never have guessed that you’d do it in this way….

                My sixth sense tells me you’re just a liar…, you’re not a seasoned programmer…, you don’t use pen and paper…, and that you don’t have “dozens of windows open to alt-tab through” (mostly because everything is browser-based now and it’s tabs, not windows.)

                But, still, humour me… what’s the pen and paper for?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  How very “teenager of the 21st century” of you, assuming that anything new that’s appeared in the last few years has completely supplanted everything that came before and none of those older things have any further use.

                  Go tell Corel and Adobe that everything is browser based now. Go tell Informatica and Oracle. Go tell Eclipse that. Go tell Microsoft.

                  I can say the same thing about you. Nobody reprograms their company’s databases anymore; they would just outsource that shit to India or China or Russia or Brazil or anyplace else that has slave wages and tons of barely educated and mostly incompetent programmers.

                  But I can see that you are far too young and immature to hold a conversation without descending into ageist bullshit and not recognizing that web programming is nothing more than slightly more sophisticated CICS programming.

                  To answer your question, however, I write many of my documents by hand on paper, and then transcribe them into Word documents. I use the transcription phase as a first edit pass on the actual content of my document, rather than its presentation. I may have a dozen or more documents and even web pages across many windows and tabs(you did know that a browser can open multiple windows, did you not?), but more likely, however, I would probably just print out the documents, staple the pages together and keep them open on my desk. Higher resolution, easier to reference. Of course, you can’t print out animated shit, but that has no place in a business document anyway. In meetings(virtual and meat-life), I take notes on paper with pens, and I first edit documents(my own and other people’s) first on a print out with a pen and then transcribe it back.

                  Yes, I have a tablet(2, in fact), I have a Windows laptop and a Linux desktop. I am writing a book(trying to, at least), and I write it by hand on paper and then transcribe it into a file for formatting, once again using the transcription phase for spot-checking and editing. I use the spellchecker built into the editor to verify my typing, but I always try to get the spelling of a word right on paper. I use both an online dictionary and a desk reference one. They both serve a purpose.

                  I have written corporate applications in languages that not only do not exist any more, but also ran the apps on hardware and operating systems manufactured by companies that likewise do not exist anymore.

                  In other words, my friend, for judging that guy on the size of his monitor and that you were obviously too stupid to know where the keyboard could be located, especially given the fact that mouse is plainly visible, and for being a techno-elitist, ageist prick, you can go…

                  Oh, what’s the use?

                • the moother

                  What’s the pen and paper for?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  My sincerest apologies. I had assumed, apparently in extreme error, that you were intelligent enough to know what “write … documents by hand on paper” and “take notes on paper with pens” meant. Let me reassure you, in the strongest possible terms, that this grave error shall not be repeated again.

                • the moother

                  Well, you said that pen and paper is where the “real work” happens…”writing documents” (whatever that means) and “taking notes” is not considered real work in any enterprise…or even any job that I can think of.

                  So, what “real work” is it that you get to do with pen and paper????????????????!!!??

                • the moother

                  Ahhhhh…., I’m looking at the logs and this guy keeps making multiple edits and backtracks to try and cover things up…. don’t trust this fool

                • The Other Weirdo

                  The fuck are you babbling about? Citation need on my edits, right this fucking now, or get the fuck out Dodge.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Writing documents is not considered “real work” in any job you can think of? Perhaps you need to get a job with a real company, one that has more than 21 people. So writing requirements documents, high level estimates, detail estimates, high level design, low level design, and the like is not “real work”? You’ve never been asked to analyze something and then write a report–you know, a “document”–on it? You’ve never worked a day in software development, have you?

  • Canadian Atheist, eh!

    “When the static POWER BALANCE Hologram comes in contact with your body’s energy field, it begins to resonate in accordance with each individual’s biological energy system, creating a harmonic loop that optimizes your energy field, maintains maximum energy flow while it clears the pathways so the electro-chemical exchange functions like the well-tuned generator it was designed to be, resulting in immediate improved balance, increased core strength, greater flexibility, increased range of motion and overall well-being.”
    Hoo-boy, I gots ta get me one-a dem! Ohmmmmm. . .

    • viaten

      All those “scientific” terms. How did they forget “quantum”?

      • busterggi

        My rabbit’s foot is quantum – I’m never sure just where it is.

        • Mario Strada

          It probably disappears if you look for it or try to measure it.

          • Tel

            I’ve got it! The studies that companies perform on these to show how great they are are so incredible and linked with Nature’s Harmony that the results are quantum, which is why they can never be verified by third parties.

      • Sunnyhorse

        And “centered”! And “balanced”! And “toxins”! So much quackery, so little time …

      • Sandra Stott

        Quantum is what happens in your washing machine. This explains why socks disappear.

        • viaten

          “Quantum” also explains why if you put in 7 pairs of socks into a dryer you can get 7 pairs plus an extra sock whose matching sock will suddenly appear under your bed. It’s a complicated quantum entanglement, sock anti-sock pair phenomenon. It also explains why some of the socks come out turned inside out when they all went the same way. Remember, socks have “spin” and “angular momentum” inside the washing machine and dryer, just like electrons around a nucleus.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      There’s more woo per square inch in that paragraph than a Deepak Chopra impersonation contest. That bracelet does so much good stuff, Judge Baugh had better not ever take it off, or he’d immediately fall apart into hundreds of little dried up pieces.

      Funny how you never see Joe Klein creating a harmonic loop that optimizes… oh never mind.

    • http://about.me/fiz Steve

      You forgot the part about the electromagnetism detoxifying your blood!

      • Canadian Atheist, eh!

        LOL. I copy and paste. You decide!

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      What I want to know is, what’s the quantum-to-homeopathy ratio in the drinks at the Chinese factory where these bracelets are made? If it’s less than Bigfoot:1, I’m going back to wearing my soured-chicken-corpse amulets.

    • A3Kr0n

      Or it creates a feedback loop, and your brain squeals like a bad PA system.

    • C.Dude

      Seriously? Power Balance? Hits it kind of dead on, no?

  • Bob Becker

    Can’t help wondering if there is some connection between the rapist and the judge that no one has tumbled to yet. Son of an old family friend, for example, or the rapist’s parent attend the same church as the judge. Something like that. The thirty day sentence was such a piece of blithering idiocy, even for a Mighty Morphen Power Ranger Bracelet wearer that I can’t shake the notion that there’s something more at work here than the judges moral and ethical density. Even for Montana.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Rape. He didn’t have sex with, he raped. He was charged and convicted of rape.

    Please don’t sugarcoat it.

    • http://www.helensotiriadis.com/ helen sotiriadis

      thanks, feminerd.
      exactly.

    • Gnormous9

      I think we know it was rape. Thank you.

      • Tel

        Not everybody does.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Oh? I would disagree. The terminology “have sex with” is used for consensual sex It is possible for a teacher and student to have consensual sex, in which case it would be statutory rape. Still very bad, still to be banned for oh-so-many reasons, but not usually as devastating as being raped by a figure of trust.

        This was not that. The girl did not want to have sex. The complaint and every article I’ve read described it as “nonconsensual sexual contact”, which is rape. It sugarcoats what this man did to just say he had sex with a 14-year-old girl. He didn’t. He raped her, and that should be stated loud and clear.

  • Sami Hawkins

    Those scammers set up a booth at all the boatshows advertising that their bracelets cure HIV, cancer, diabetes, you name it. Normally I’d be angry about that, but considering that the crowd is there to buy pointless hunks of floating fiberglass I don’t feel bad if they also get scammed into buying pointless bracelets.

  • b s

    Oh, one of those.

    I was hoping he was a Power Ranger or something. Think he’s the red one or the blue one?

    • Heidi McClure

      Not the blue one. He’s gay. I feel like this guy probably doesn’t approve of teh gheyz.

  • Guest

    Maybe I’m missing something, but if there has been a trial, a conviction and a sentencing then your can not have a retrial, it’s double jeopardy.

    • rovinrockhound

      IANAL, but I believe that the argument is that the judge’s decision is invalid because the crime has a mandatory minimum sentence that is greater than 30 days, therefore requiring a re-sentencing (not a re-trial).

      • JSC_ltd

        IAAL, and you’re correct.

  • A3Kr0n

    Power bracelets are only $3.99 with free shipping? How can they do that? More importantly, why would anyone be willing to buy one of these, strap it on, and think it will do anything other than make them look silly?

  • Garret Shane Brown

    This was the first time I’ve heard about the “power bracelet”. There are some pretty stylish bracelets out there, and they only add about 20 dollars to them when they add the word “power” to the name!

  • Carpinions

    Seems this judge still uses the 1870s Wild West Rule Book for handing out sentences.

  • Nancy Shrew

    Not a Power Glove?

  • Robster

    Does that make the judge a Power Ranger?

  • Major Nav

    Maybe we can develop an atheist repelling bracelet and market it to the superstitious. Make a ton of money while getting a heads up on who to steer clear of.

  • Alexis

    The power bracelet has done a wonderful job of restoring his scalp hair and his beard color.

  • PJ

    I think this is a pretty bad post to make. We’re assuming that he wears that bracelet because he believes in the mumbo jumbo behind it, but that could very well not be the case. It could’ve been a gift from a family member so he chooses to wear it or it could have come to him through other means.

    The judgement was a gross injustice, but let’s not waste time jumping down people’s throats about bracelets. Usually this blog uses more restraint…

  • rg57

    What have they done to Burl Ives?!

  • merphie

    Was the charge based on statutory rape or did they prove the lack of consent. If the charge of rape is based on age then that makes many people hypocrites in that 30 days isn’t enough for a male but probation is good enough for a woman guilty of the same crime.


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