BILLINGS, Mont., Dec. 24 (UPI) -- A Montana judge who drew fire for a lenient sentence in a rape case has ordered a man convicted domestic violence to write "boys do not hit girls" 5,000 times.
Yellowstone County District Court Judge G. Todd Baugh -- who came to national prominence this year after sentencing a 47-year-old teacher to 31 days in jail for raping a 14-year-old student -- sentenced Pacer Anthony Ferguson, 27, to six months in jail Monday for punching his girlfriend and causing multiple skull fractures in August.
Baugh ordered Ferguson to more than $3,800 in restitution for the victim's medical expenses, and gave him until May 23 to write "boys do not hit girls" 5,000 times, the Billings (Mont.) Gazette reported.
Ferguson admitted in court he punched his girlfriend during an argument. The victim testified doctors have implanted a mesh titanium plate in her face to repair damage from the assault and said she still experiences double vision, pain and numbness, the newspaper reported.
The jury that convicted Ferguson of misdemeanor assault acquitted him on felony assault and witness tampering charges that could have resulted in prison sentences of five to 100 years, the report said.
Ferguson -- who has a lengthy criminal record dating back to when he was 14 years old -- was sentenced later Monday to eight years in state prison for a 2003 attempted robbery.
Ferguson was sent to youth prison in his teens for the death of a man struck by a railroad car that rolled downhill after Ferguson and another boy released it.