BILLINGS, Mont. — State prosecutors on Wednesday appealed as "illegal" a 30-day sentence handed down by a Montana judge to a former teacher for raping a student who later killed herself.
The announcement came after District Judge G. Todd Baugh received widespread condemnation for the sentence and his comments that the victim was "older than her chronological age."
Defendant Stacey Rambold, 54, last week received 15 years in prison with all but a month suspended for his monthslong sexual relationship with Billings Senior High School student Cherice Moralez, then 14.
Attorneys for the state and Yellowstone County say a minimum of two years in prison for Rambold is mandated under state law.
Baugh has sought to undo his actions since the Aug. 26 hearing. He said two days later that his comments about Moralez were inappropriate. And earlier this week, Baugh scheduled a resentencing hearing for Rambold for Friday.
But prosecutors on Wednesday filed notice that they want the resentencing canceled so the appeal can proceed. Though Baugh's bid to resentence Rambold is "well-intentioned," Chief Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Rod Souza wrote, the judge lacks the authority to take back his original sentence.