A teacher accused of the rape of a 14-year-old student (allegedly leading in part to her subsequent suicide) was sentenced to just 30 days behind bars for the crime.
The mother of Cherice Morales, who died in 2010 at the age of 16, was outraged at the light sentence given in the case — one that dragged on since the incident in 2008 when Morales was just 14.
Teacher Stacey Dean Rambold received a 15 year sentence, with all but 31 days of the jail term to be spent a free man.
The outcome gets even worse, however, as Gawker reports that Yellowstone County district judge G. Todd Baugh lightly sentenced Rambold in part because the deceased rape victim was “older than her chronological age,” adding that the 14-year-old girl was “as much in control of the situation” as the 54-year-old man on trial.
Rambold was ultimately charged with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent, and ordered to undergo treatment for sexual offenders. Even then, the Billings Gazettereports, the former teacher and accused rapist was terminated from the program for misbehavior:
“Problems arose last August, Sullivan said, when Rambold began missing meetings. After meeting with Rambold, Sullivan said, the man appeared to be back on track with his treatment… But he was terminated from the program in November, when it was learned that he had been having unsupervised visits with minors and had not informed his counselors that he had been having sexual relations with a woman.”
Morales wasn’t there to speak at her accused attacker’s sentencing, but a lawyer for Rambold pled with the judge to “consider how he’s been punished to this point.”
The victim’s mother was not pleased with the slap on the wrist sentence for her daughter’s former teacher. After Rambold was sentenced, she reportedly screamed out “you people suck!” several times before exiting the courtroom.
The teacher accused after the rape and suicide of 14-year-old Morales had been lightly sentenced in the past. In addition to the allegations involving Morales and the violations in sex offender therapy, Rambold had been warned back in 2004 to not be alone with or touch his female students.