Legitimate rape was one of the big surprises of the 2012 general election, This concept of an “allowable” rape was promulgated by a Missouri Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. Another Republican running for the Senate made a similar claim.

Now a Montana judge has handed down a meaningless, 30-day sentence to a 49-year-old school teacher who pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old. Judge G. Todd Baugh said the victim was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as the teacher.

That victim has in the meantime killed herself.

When Judge Baugh last week attempted to revisit his resentencing, the Montana Supreme Court intervened, taking the case.

If you listen to what was said by Judge Baugh in Montana, or by the two GOP Senate candidates, it’s apparent there is a regressive undercurrent that blames the victim in cases of rape. These attitudes toward sex crimes are at odds with reality.

The basic error is to think that rape is a crime about sex. It is a crime of violence.

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