TODAY   |  September 03, 2013

Protesters seek change in Montana student sex sentence

Montana judge G. Todd Baugh apologized for saying that a 14-year-old victim of sexual assault by a teacher was “older than her chronological age,” but did not change the 30-day sentence he gave to the perpetrator. Now the prosecution is looking to change the sentence. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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>> out this morning tied to an on going controversy in montana. the sentence handed down by a judge in the case involving a teacher and teenage victim. here's john yang .

>> reporter: the protests have been swift and loud. all targeted at the judge that sentenced former high school teacher stacy ramble to 15 years in prison for the 2007 rape of a 14-year-old and then suspended all by 31 days and gave him one day credit for time served . morales committed suicide before the case went to trial in 2010 . at sentencing, he said morales was older than her chronological age at the time of the rape and was probably as much in control of the situation as he was. that angered the victim's mother.

>> i was horrified. i don't believe in justice anymore. it was a joke.

>> reporter: two days later he apologized for his comments.

>> i'm not sure what i was attempting to say at that point but it didn't come out correct. what i said was demeaning to all women and not what i believe in and irrelevant to the sentencing.

>> reporter: but he didn't change the sentence. now the prosecutor is trying to change that.

>> certainly i'm disappointed in this sentence but i have a job to do and my job right now is to figure out if this case can be appealed because of some legal error.

>> reporter: in an interview the victim's mother said it's hard to explain to her younger brothers and sister.

>> what happened to him, mom? what do you say? nothing.

>> reporter: the state's national organization for women joined the chorus of outrage.

>> we will no longer stand by.

>> reporter: there's calls for the judge to step down or be impeached.

>> when a judge lost that sense of trust from the community it's time for the judge to stop being a judge.

>> reporter: no word on what happens next as the controversial comments reverberate in the voices of protest. for today, john yang , nbc news, chicago.