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30 days in jail for former teacher convicted of raping 14-year-old student

Stacey Rambold: former Montana high school teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old
Stacey Rambold: former Montana high school teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old
Billings Police Department

After being convicted of having nonconsensual sex (rape) with a 14-year-old female student named Cherice Morales during at least three encounters in 2008, former Montana high school teacher Stacey Rambold, 54, was sentenced to a mere 30 days in jail on Monday.

According to the Billings Gazette, Chief Deputy County Attorney Rod Souza had asked Judge G. Todd Baugh to give Rambold a sentence of 20 years in prison, with 10 years suspended.

Baugh handed down a sentence of 15 years in prison to Rambold for what was classified as nonconsensual sexual intercourse, which was with a minor.

But Baugh would then turn around and suspend all of that sentence except for 31 days of it—giving Rambold credit for one day served, which reduced his (Rambold’s) sentence to an eye-popping 30 days of actual jail time.

Rambold was originally ordered to complete a sex-offender treatment program that could have actually gotten the charges dismissed altogether after he pleaded guilty, but he was dropped from the program for missing too many meetings.

But despite all of that, Baugh said that Rambold still did not deserve a lengthy imprisonment.

In fact, Baugh went on to say that a 14-year-old Morales was much “older than her chronological age,” as he described her as a troubled kid.

He also espoused that Morales was “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold was based on some recorded statements by Morales that he claims to have heard.

Unfortunately, Morales committed suicide in 2010. And her mother Auliea Hanlon, who stormed out of the courtroom on Monday after the 30-day sentence was levied yelling: “You people suck,” attributed most of her daughter’s suicide to the situation involving her relationship with Rambold.

So first of all, where does this judge get off giving 30 days in jail for raping a 14-year-old kid? You could get more time in jail for smoking a joint (marijuana) depending on where you live and how black you are.

Secondly, what qualifies this judge to make such a brash judgment about Morales being much “older than her chronological age?” Would that put her closer to 18-years-old (the commonly accepted and universally safe, legal age of sexual consent) or 30-years-old? And, does that make Baugh some kind of maturity/consent expert?

Thirdly, how easy is it to blame the victim—especially a female victim? So what if Morales was a troubled kid. Rambold was an adult teacher in a position of power who was knowingly having sex with a minor/student. Maybe he is the one who is really troubled.

Fourthly, who came up with the idea of taking some sex-offender class to get rape charges dropped? Is that like taking a driving class to get out of paying a speeding ticket?

Fifthly, there are a lot of people who will not like the use of the term rape in regard to this situation, but statutory rape is a legal precedent in this country, and lots of people are just a couple of beers and a fake ID away from finding that out the hard way.

And Sixthly, where does one have to look to attain judge credentials nowadays—the bottom of a Cracker Jack box or the bottom of a Cherrios box?