• THAT WAS QUICK

    Convicted Rapist Finishes 30-Day Sentence

    Montana Supreme Court dismissed resentencing request.

    After completing his 30-day prison sentence, convicted rapist Stacey Rambold is expected to be released today. The former Montana teacher was convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl in 2008; she committed suicide in 2010, while the case was pending. Billings, Montana, District Judge G. Todd Baugh is falling under fire for the short sentence, which he initially defended on the grounds that the victim was “older than her chronological age.” Montana’s Supreme Court rejected Baugh’s later attempt to increase Rambold’s sentence by two years. In 2010, Rambold entered into a three-year deferred-prosecution agreement in which he promised to complete a sex-offender-treatment program, avoid contact with minors, and admit to one count of rape in exchange for his remaining charges being dropped. The extent to which Rambold has upheld this commitment is in question.

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  • Corbis, 13

    Abuse of Power

    The Montana Teacher Rape Apologists

    Natalie Sullivan on the disturbing Washington Post op-ed that downplayed a recent case where a teacher got a mere 30 days in prison after confessing to raping a 14-year-old student.

    When a Billings, Mont., judge justified his lax sentencing of a teacher who raped his 14-year-old student on the grounds that that the victim was “older than her chronological age” and "as much in control of the situation" as the teacher, he revealed the erroneous beliefs that continue to enable child sexual abuse in this country.

    When the Washington Post, one of the nation’s most respected news sources, ran an opinion piece downplaying sexual relationships between high school students and their teachers, we saw a culture that fears a false accusation more than it fears ongoing sexual abuse. This is unacceptable.

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  • WHITTLED DOWN

    She Killed Herself; He Got 30 Days for Rape

    Her teacher originally had 15-year sentence.

    Stacey Rambold, a 54-year-old Montana teacher who was convicted of raping a 14-year-old student, had a judge reduce his sentence from 15 years to just 30 days. Rambold first pleaded guilty of having a sexual relationship with Cherice Morales in 2008. But three years later, when she was 17, Morales killed herself. The county’s attorney’s office made an agreement with Rambold: they would put the case on hold for three years and dismiss the charges if he completed a sex-offender treatment program. But prosecutors brought up the case again when they found out he was suspended from the program. Rambold’s attorney says his client is in a different treatment program, and “an evaluation found that he is a low risk to reoffend and could be treated in the community,” according to the Billings Gazette. After the ruling, Morales’s mother repeatedly yelled, “You people suck!”

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