Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ex-teacher to get longer sentence for rape

RECOMMENDED READING


A former high school teacher who served one month in prison after being convicted of raping a 14-year-old student faces more time behind bars after the Montana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that his original sentence was too short.

Justices ordered the case of Stacey Rambold assigned to a new judge for re-sentencing. The decision means Rambold must serve a minimum of two years in prison under state sentencing laws, Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said.

The victim, Cherice Moralez, killed herself while Rambold was awaiting trial.

In its ruling, the Montana Supreme Court cited, in part, the inflammatory comments of the sentencing judge, G. Todd Baugh, who drew wide condemnation for suggesting that the victim shared some responsibility for her rape.

Baugh said during Rambold's sentencing last August that the teenager was "probably as much in control of the situation as the defendant" and appeared "older than her chronological age." He later apologized.

Rambold was released after fulfilling the original sentence last fall.

He was a 47-year-old business teacher at Billings Senior High School at the time of the 2007 rape. Cherice Moralez was one of his students. Rambold admitted to raping the teenager on several occasions in his home, car and office.

After the teenager came forward to accuse Rambold, she was ostracized at school, relatives said. Her suicide in 2010 took away the prosecution's main witness.

Rambold's attorneys insisted in court filings that the original sentence was appropriate, and cited a "lynch mob" mentality following a public outcry over the case.

Like Baugh, they suggested the girl bore some responsibility and referenced videotaped interviews with her before she committed suicide. Those interviews remain under seal by the court.

During last year's sentencing hearing, prosecutors sought a 20-year prison term for Rambold with 10 years suspended.

But Baugh followed the recommendations of Rambold's attorney and handed down a sentence of 15 years with all but 31 days suspended and a one-day credit for time served. Rambold was required to register as a sex offender upon his release and to remain on probation through 2028.

After a public outcry, Baugh acknowledged the sentence violated state law and attempted retroactively to revise it but was blocked when the state filed its appeal.

A formal complaint against Baugh from the Montana Judicial Standards Commission is now pending with the state Supreme Court. Baugh, 72, says he plans to retire when his six-year term expires at the end of the year.

Contributing: tbt*

 
Comments
Bittel won’t resign committeeman post until Dec. 10, after new Democratic chair election

Bittel won’t resign committeeman post until Dec. 10, after new Democratic chair election

Ousted Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel plans to give up his post as Miami-Dade County’s state committeeman -- but not until after his successor atop the state party is elected.Juan Cuba, chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Ex...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Heartache rekindled for Miami family of dead soldier

Heartache rekindled for Miami family of dead soldier

WASHINGTON – Amid reports that additional remains of Sgt. La David Johnson were found in Niger, Rep. Frederica Wilson said the government must full account for what happened."It is difficult to find the words to describe how dismaying it was to...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Strong drops h-word in describing Shaquem Griffin

Strong drops h-word in describing Shaquem Griffin

While saying nothing to purposely fan the flames of the USF-UCF rivalry during his weekly press conference Tuesday, Bulls coach Charlie Strong unintentionally provided fuel for the Knights' best player.He used the h-word when discussing Knights senio...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
USF adjuncts to rally as new survey reveals poverty among Florida professors

USF adjuncts to rally as new survey reveals poverty among Florida professors

On the heels of a new survey underscoring hunger and poverty among Florida professors, adjunct professors at the University of Florida will rally next week as part of their push to unionize.The adjunct professors and their support...
Updated: 5 minutes ago

AP Top News at 2:40 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 2:40 p.m. EST
Updated: 10 minutes ago

Russian figure skating star Medvedeva mending broken foot

World champion figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva says she may miss the Grand Prix Final in Japan next month because of a broken foot
Updated: 11 minutes ago
The Latest: Conyers acknowledges settling staffer complaint

The Latest: Conyers acknowledges settling staffer complaint

Rep. John Conyers is acknowledging his office has settled a harassment complaint involving a former staffer but denies the allegations against him
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Missouri's Porter Jr. out for season after back surgery

Missouri's Porter Jr. out for season after back surgery

Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing lower back surgery
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Q&A: Donations for victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting

Q&A: Donations for victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting

Millions of dollars in donations have poured in for the victims of the mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival, leaving local officials and national experts to sort how to fairly and quickly distribute the money
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Attorneys invoke Shakespeare, Christ in seeking mercy for killer Adam Matos

Attorneys invoke Shakespeare, Christ in seeking mercy for killer Adam Matos

NEW PORT RICHEY — It took less than three house for a jury to unanimously convict Adam Matos of four counts of first degree murder last week.Now, the jury must decide whether Matos should be put to death for his crimes — murdering the mother of his s...
Updated: 18 minutes ago