A Montana judge, under fire for suggesting a 14-year-old girl was partly to blame for being raped by a teacher, admitted on Tuesday that he violated judicial standards and invited censure from the state's highest court, documents show. Judge G. Todd Baugh drew fierce public criticism last year when he sentenced the former teacher, 54-year-old Stacey Rambold, to just a month in prison for the 2007 sexual assault of his student, Cherice Moralez, who later killed herself. In a complaint filed with the Montana Supreme Court earlier this month, a Montana panel that oversees jurists sought to discipline him over the sentence as well as for saying the girl appeared "older than her chronological age," and "as much in control of the situation" as her teacher. The Montana Judicial Standards Commission said Baugh undermined public confidence in the judiciary, created an appearance of impropriety and "justified the unlawful sentence by blaming the child victim," according to papers from the commission.
By Victoria Cavaliere NEW YORK (Reuters) - Successive winter storms led to critical shortages of rock salt in the U.S. Northeast on Tuesday including Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania, while New Jersey scrambled to secure a huge shipment stuck at a port in Maine. The scarcity hit as the East Coast was slammed by a third winter storm system in a single week, leaving many states over-budget for snow removal and running low on supplies like rock salt, which is used to help melt ice and snow on roads and public areas. A 40,000-ton shipment of rock salt was stuck on a foreign ship in Searsport, Maine, days after New Jersey was denied a waiver of federal shipping rules that would have allowed it to travel to a Newark port. Instead, efforts to get the salt to New Jersey remained stymied by the 1920 Maritime Act, also known as the Jones Act, enacted to protect the U.S. shipping industry from foreign competition.
By Melodi Erdogan and Jennifer Brake KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - A U.S. judge sentenced an 84-year-old nun, Sister Megan Rice, on Tuesday to 35 months in prison for breaking into a Tennessee military facility used to store enriched uranium for nuclear bombs. Two others accused in the case, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, were sentenced to 62 months in prison. The three were convicted of cutting fences and entering the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in July 2012, embarrassing U.S. officials and prompting security changes.