Updated: Board recommends Judge Ray Dayton be sanctioned for making sexual comments (copy)


A judicial disciplinary board is recommending that state District Court Judge Ray Dayton be reprimanded and suspended without pay for one month for making inappropriate sexual comments about a witness in a pending case.

The Judicial Standards Commission says Dayton made the comments in the hallway of the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Courthouse sometime in August 2022, and they were overheard by courthouse employees. The case involved a witness who alleged a defendant had stalked her.

Dayton acknowledged his conduct violated standards of judicial conduct and agreed with the recommended sanctions, according to a two-page document filed with the Montana Supreme Court on April 6.

The state’s high court will get the last say on any disciplinary action and had not ruled on the matter as of Thursday morning. Such cases are rare and in the last one in 2020, the court suspended a Yellowstone County judge for one month for not being truthful under oath and for actions she took during a 2018 campaign.

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Dayton issued the following written statement to The Montana Standard:

“This matter has to do with a comment that I made, in jest, in

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