In 2007, a teacher named Stacey Rambold was convicted in Montana for raping Cherice Moralez, a 14-year-old student, who later committed suicide. In a sentencing decision that sparked outrage throughout the country, District Judge G. Todd Baugh imposed a ridiculously light sentence on Rambold for the crime. Baugh said he was lenient on Rambold because the crime "wasn't forcible, beat-up rape," despite the fact that children younger than 16 cannot legally consent in Montana.
Rambold is to be re-sentenced on Friday by a different judge in a hearing in which prosecutors will technically seek a 20-year prison sentence with 10 years suspended, well over the state minimum of four years with two suspended, legal filings showed.
"His position of trust as a high school teacher, abuse of that position and violations against the victim overshadows all mitigating circumstances justifying a minimum sentence," Yellowstone County prosecutor Scott Twito wrote in court filings.
But if you think that means all of the disgusting victim blaming that went on during the original trial is over and the parties involved their have learned their lesson, think again. Rambold's defense is still trying to make the case that Moralez, a dead teenage rape victim, should be partly to blame. Via The Billings Gazette:
In Tuesday's court filing, [Rambold's attorney Jay Lansing] urged [Judge Randal] Spaulding to review a pair of recorded interviews of Moralez conducted by law enforcement prior to her death. [Baugh], who handled Rambold's original sentencing, referenced those interviews when he commented last year that Moralez appeared "older than her chronological age" and "was probably as much in control of the situation as the defendant." Rambold's attorneys also have suggested Moralez bore some responsibility.
Twito said he plans to call psychologist Brenda Roche to testify on what the interviews say about the victim's cognitive state. The recordings from 2008 and 2009 have not been publicly released.
"This is still a 14-year-old girl," Twito told the Billings Gazette. "Children that age do not understand the consequences of their statements and their actions."