A former high school teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old female student who later killed herself will only spend 30 days in jail because he's already suffered "the scarlet letter of the internet," thanks to his victim, who was totally down for his D when she was alive. I will now accept my award for most depressing run-on sentence, thank you very much.
More uplifting info from the Billings Gazette: Chief Deputy County Attorney Rod Souza had asked the Yellowstone County district judge to order former teacher Stacy Dean Rambold to serve 20 years in prison, with 10 years suspended, given that he used his position of power to pursue an "ongoing relationship" with a troubled 14-year-old when he was 49. He was first charged in 2008, but while the case was pending, the girl took her own life a few weeks before her 17th birthday — her mother testified that her daughter's relationship with Rambold was a "major factor" in her suicide.
The case was then put on hold for a few years, under a deferred prosecution agreement that stated the charges would be dismissed if Rambold completed a sex offender treatment program and complied with some other conditions — even though he also admitted to one of three rape charges. When prosecutors learned he was terminated from the program before he completed it, the case was revived. But it shouldn't have been, argued his attorney:
Rambold's attorney, Jay Lansing, argued Monday for the suspended sentence. He said Rambold lost his career, his marriage and his home and has suffered a "scarlet letter of the Internet" as a result of publicity about the case.
Rambold has since continued his treatment with a different program, Lansing said, and an evaluation found that he is a low risk to re-offend and could be treated in the community.
Rambold's criminal history includes only a traffic violation, but now he will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, the attorney said.
Lansing asked the judge to "consider how he's been punished to this point."
The judge empathized with poor Rambold after listening to recorded statements given by the girl before she died, which led him to believe that she was "as much in control of the situation" as Rambold. Furthermore: she seemed "older than her chronological age." Cool commentary! Case closed. Hopefully Rambold's month in jail won't make him too sad.
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