Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Stacey Dean Rambold: Court tosses ex-teacher's one-month rape sentence

See also

Stacey Dean Rambold, a former Montana teacher who raped a student, will be back in court to face a resentencing trial. Last fall, the 54-year-old Rambold was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but all but 31 days of that sentence were “suspended,” and with one day previously served, Rambold spent a total of one month in jail for his 2008 rape. Rambold’s victim – 14-year old Cherice Moralez – took her life before the case was even brought to trial.

According to a report from Reuters today, as carried by Yahoo! news, the 30-day penalty was harshly criticized by many as being far too lenient. Sharp objections swiftly came and many called for Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh to resign following his commuting of the rapist’s sentence. Baugh also lobbed remarks at the victim’s family that many considered unduly harsh and insensitive.

Cherice Morales was only 14 years old at the time of the rape; she took her own life in 2010. Cherice’s family, from Billings, Mont., were haunted by the calloused words of the man they sought justice from. Prosecutors had asked for Rambold to serve 10 to 20 years for his statutory rape of Morales, but Judge Baugh handed down the 30-day term.

During the sentencing hearing, Baugh said Cherice looked “older than her chronological age” and suggested she was “as much in control of the situation” as her attacker. His words sparked outrage in the small community. Rambold allegedly had "questionable" actions on his record even before he was hired at the Billings school in 2004. Allegations existed that Rambold had previously touched a girl inappropriately.

Rambold was charged with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent. Judge Baugh later tried to apologize for his remarks (though not the joke of a sentence), and retracted his statement that the minor could be consenting. Under Montana state law, minors under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to a sexual act. Judge Baugh said his words were “stupid and wrong.” The Montana Supreme Court ruled that the case will now be assigned to a different judge for resentencing. “The district court lacked authority to suspend all but 31 days of Rambold's sentence, and its judgment is therefore reversed,” Justice Michael Wheat said in the court's opinion.

Fox News carried a report from The Associated Press that stated Rambold has been free since completing his 30-day sentence last year. Prosecutors say that in the upcoming resentencing, they will be looking for a minimum jail term of at least four years. Attorneys for Rambold are of course arguing that their client served his time under an “appropriate” sentence.

According to Fox News, a “disciplinary complaint against Baugh from the Judicial Standards Commission is pending with the state Supreme Court. Justices say that will be dealt with separately.”

Advertisement

News

  • Gaza conflict
    Israel official: Ceasefire and expanding Gaza conflict are both being discussed
    Video
    Video
  • Air Algerie crash
    Conflicting reports about the Air Algerie disappearance begin to emerge
    Top News
  • Arizona execution
    A Senator familiar with torture denounces Joseph Wood's botched execution as such
    US News
  • Ray Rice suspended
    Ravens' running back Ray Rice is suspended for two games for a domestic violence arrest
    Sports
  • Amazon tribe falls ill
    An Amazonian tribe catches influenza after making first contact with the developed world
    Headlines
  • CIA prison in Poland
    Poland is declared guilty of human rights violations for hosting a secret CIA prison
    Video
    Video

Related Videos:

  • Diabetic glucose testing
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518200015" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518200015&autoStart=true"></div>
  • China river turns blood red: Natural phenomenon, biblical plague, or act of men?
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518342493" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518342493&autoStart=true"></div>
  • 551 pound convict: House arrest unecessary, claims convict too fat to leave home
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/oEgWuETGgzY?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>