Prosecutors appeal controversial rape sentence in Montana

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 9:00pm

 Prosecutors in Montana are appealing a controversial 30-day sentence imposed on a teacher who admitted to raping his 14-year-old student.

The girl later took her own life.

In his notice of appeal Wednesday, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox described the sentence as "illegal."

The filing came one day after the judge in the case filed a court order, admitting the sentence he imposed may have been against the law. He scheduled a new hearing for Friday.

"The Defendant shall be present at argument as the Court, if necessary and appropriate, will amend the mandatory minimum portion of the sentence," read the judge's order.

It appears the mandatory minimum is two years, not 30 days, it read.

"In this Court's opinion, imposing a sentence which suspends more than the mandatory minimum would be an illegal sentence," the order continued.

The case drew widespread attention when District Judge G. Todd Baugh imposed the 30-day sentence on Stacey Dean Rambold and made controversial comments about the victim, saying she "seemed older than her chronological age."

Rambold admitted raping the girl while he was her teacher at her high school.

Cherice Moralez was 14 at the time. She took her own life shortly before her 17th birthday.


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