Tags: Montana | rapist | re-sentenced

Teacher Re-Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Student Rape

By    |   Friday, 26 Sep 2014 09:52 PM

The mother of a 14-year-old Montana girl who was raped by her high school teacher and later committed suicide fought back tears Friday as the defendant's original sentence of just 31 days behind bars was changed to 10 years.

"Here we are –  six, seven years later, still waiting for justice," said Auliea Hanlon, the mother of teen Cherice Moralez, according to video of the sentencing from CNN affiliate KTVQ.

"He knew what he was doing. He knew what was going to happen to her. And he didn't care."

Stacey Rambold, 55, pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent in the rape of Moralez, who was a freshman in his business class at Billings Senior High in 2007. The teen committed suicide in 2010 before the case went to trial.

When the case went before Judge G. Todd Baugh last year, he sentenced Rambold to 15 years – with all but 31 days suspended – saying the victim looked older than her years and was "probably as much in control of the situation as was the defendant," CNN reported, citing the Montana attorney general's office.

The sentence, which sparked a storm of controversy, was appealed.

On Friday, Judge Randal Spaulding re-sentenced Rambold to 15 years with five years suspended.

"The criminal justice system worked today," Yellowstone County prosecutor Scott Twito said.

Rambold broke down crying during a brief statement, saying he was sorry and had worked hard to make himself a better person.

"No one can really appreciate and understand what it feels like to have so many people actually hate you and be disgusted by you," Rambold wrote in an earlier letter to the court, the Associated Press reports. "I do not mention this for the sake of sympathy, but it has been hard."

The Montana Supreme Court in April ruled Baugh used an inapplicable statute to impose the original sentence and that a new judge would have to re-sentence Rambold. Justice Michael Wheat wrote Baugh's comments reflected an improper bias and "cast serious doubt on the appearance of justice," CNN reports.

Baugh was censured and suspended for 31 days.

The judge later apologized, writing to a judicial review board: "I am sorry I made those remarks. They focused on the victim when that aspect of the case should have been focused on the defendant," according to CNN.

Baugh told CNN he was retiring at year's end, but insisted it had nothing to do with the sentencing controversy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The mother of a 14-year-old Montana girl who was raped by her high school teacher and later committed suicide fought back tears Friday as the defendant's original sentence of just 31 days behind bars was changed to 10 years.
Montana, rapist, re-sentenced
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2014-52-26
Friday, 26 Sep 2014 09:52 PM
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