Montana Judge Orders New Hearing in Sentencing of Teacher Who Raped 14-Year-Old Student

The Montana judge who sentenced a teacher to only 30 days for the rape of a former student has ordered a new hearing in the case.

In an order filed Tuesday, Yellowstone County District Court Judge G. Todd Baugh said that the sentence he imposed may be illegal because it departs from the mandatory minimum sentence for the crime. Stacey Dean Rambold, a former Billings Senior High teacher, admitted to raping a 14-year-old female student who later committed suicide. Rambold received a sentence of 15 years in prison, with all but 31 days suspended, and was given credit for one day previously served.

In explaining the first sentencing decision, Judge Baugh reasoned that the victim in the case was complicit and partially to blame for the assault. Baugh said at the hearing that the victim was “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold. He also described the girl as “older than her chronological age.” After sparking international outrage at his remarks and the sentence, the judge apologized for his comments two days later. Last week, an estimated 400 people gathered in downtown Billings to protest the sentence and Baugh’s statements.

In the order reconsidering the sentence, Baugh said that the mandatory minimum sentence Rambold should have received appeared to be two years, not 30 days. He explained that he imposed the first sentenced based on a memorandum submitted by the attorney for Rambold and that prosecutors failed to object or notify the court that the sentence violated mandatory minimum requirements. The court will hear arguments on re-sentencing Friday.

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  • William Carr

    Right, because it’s the Prosecution’s job to know the law and remind the Judge when he’s being a butthead.

  • BigSofty

    The mandatory minimum is pretty irrelevant, the judge has already shown his true colours as a sympathiser of paedophiles in dishing out a paltry 31 days for rape.
    If that young lass had not committed suicide, it’d be funny watching this judge backpedalling.
    What’s the betting that he’ll give out a damn sight more that the minimum this time?

  • Tammi L. Coles

    I loathe mandatory minimums, but I love this.

  • Nevermore

    Legally the girl was unable to consent, or be complicit, so he should get a proper sentence, not a watered down one!

  • 98198

    Complicit???? How about being complicit in her death! That judge has the brains of a flea and should be dismissed!!!! complicit…..14……in control…………….rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr