How does this even happen in America?
A Yellowstone County district judge Monday ordered a former Senior High teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old female student who later committed suicide to spend 30 days in jail.
Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Stacey Dean Rambold to 15 years in prison, with all but 31 days suspended, for sexual intercourse without consent.
Rambold, 54, will be given credit for one day already served. He was handcuffed and led to jail at the close of the hearing.
Reading further into the story, it simply gets more infuriating. The county attorney had asked the judge for 20 years with 10 years suspended. The girl’s mother most certainly wanted something serious done. But this looks like the judge took things in his own hands and essentially gave Rambold what amounts to a slap on the wrist. Yes, he’ll be on the sex offender registry for life and probably have terms of probation to follow, but this is ludicrous.
But the story started a lot earlier than this. The rape of the child happened in 2008, but as early as 2004 the school had already issued a warning to Rambold to “avoid touching or being alone with female students” so they knew something was up. Then, after his initial arrest for the rape and pleading guilty to a felony count arising from the case…
Rambold was placed on paid leave in April of that year and resigned from his teaching job three months later. He also surrendered his teaching certificate.
After confessing to it, he was placed on paid leave by the school district. And then he was allowed to “resign” his position, so he was never actually fired. After confessing to raping the child.
If that’s not enough, the girl’s subsequent suicide “caused problems for the prosecution” and the case was placed on hold for three years while he walked free. He only went to trial after flunking out of the sex offender treatment program he went into. And for the final cherry on this disgusting tale, the judge, rendering a verdict, described the 14 year old child Rambold raped as being, “as much in control of the situation” as her rapist and being, “older than her chronological age.”
What the heck is going on in Montana? Between the school district – no doubt helped by the teacher’s union – and this judge, any sense of law and order has been turned on its head. And perhaps one of the lawyers in the audience can help me out here, but given the Double Jeopardy rules, Rambold has had his day in court, been tried and received “punishment.” Doesn’t that mean that this can’t even be looked at again for a more appropriate sentence? It’s madness, I tell you.