Teacher Admits To Sexual Relationship With 14-Year-Old Student But Is Sentenced To Only 30 Days In Jail

article-2402937-1B7BD6A3000005DC-73_306x423Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, is a former teacher who confessed to a sexual relationship with Cherice Morales, a 14-year-old girl at his high school — a girl who later committed suicide. Despite the original charge of multiple counts of statutory rape and a sentencing to 15 years in prison, Yellowstone County District Judge G. Todd Baugh suspended all of that sentence but 31 days and then gave him credit for one day in jail. That left a sentence of 30 days for statutory rape.

In response to the sentence, the girl’s mother yelled “You people suck!” at the judge and courtroom.

Rambold pleaded guilty to the single felony charge in April. It was a delayed plea in a case from 2008. He resigned his teaching job and surrendered his teaching certificate after the disclosure of the relationship. After the girl committed suicide, the prosecution appears to have thrown in the towel on the prosecution and cut a remarkable deal with Rambold. The prosecutors agreed to put the case on hold for three years and then dismiss the rape charges if Rambold completed a sex offender treatment program and complied with other conditions. However, Rambold was terminated from the program after completing two of the three treatment phases. He had met with minors in violation of the rules, even though it was later found to be children in his own family. He was also accused of having a sexual relationship with a woman in violation of the guidelines. I am a bit surprised that this would be serious enough to terminate him but he was thrown out of the program in violation of the agreement.

article-2402937-1B7BEF34000005DC-926_306x423article-2402937-1B7BEF1E000005DC-601_306x423Judge Baugh disagreed with the renewed prosecution and the removal of Rambold from the treatment program. He said that tapes indicated to him that the 14-year-old girl was “as much in control of the situation” as the teacher. He also decided that Cherice was “older than her chronological age.” the age of consent in Montana is 16 years old.

While I agree with the concern over the termination for visiting with minors in his own family (though it should not have happened), I still find the original prosecution deal rather surprising for a teacher who not only committed statutory rape but abused his position of authority in a public school setting. It would seem that some jail time would be warranted even if a long incarceration may be viewed as inappropriate in the circumstances. On the same measure, 30 days is remarkably low though the judge appears to be motivated in part by his view that the defendant should not have been deprived of the benefit of the original plea.

What do you think?

112 thoughts on “Teacher Admits To Sexual Relationship With 14-Year-Old Student But Is Sentenced To Only 30 Days In Jail”

  1. Here’s an example of how crazy our “justice” system is.

    http://www.kare11.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/12/teen-rapist-montana/3997623/

    A teenager who pleaded guilty to raping an 11-year-old girl as she walked home from school last year was sentenced to 75 years in the Montana State Prison.

    Ten years of Kaleb Kuebler’s sentence was suspended, but the 16-year-old also must register as a sex offender and complete treatment before he is eligible for parole, Judge Greg Pinski of Cascade County District Court said Wednesday.

  2. I do not understand why sexual relationship with adult woman is forbidden, this should be encouraged.

  3. At one time “age of consent” was “age to consent to lawful marriage,” not “age of consent to fornicate.”
    The common law age of consent TO MARRY is 10. That is of the party. The party’s father or head of household had to consent also.
    Age of consent to sexual intercourse varies among the American states from 13 to 18. So if this guy had been in a state where the aoc is 13, he’d be ok on the statutory rape aspect. But because he did his thing in a state that sets a limit above 14, he should go to prison?

  4. Ed: I don’t like drone bombing in the least. Nor trial or punishment without trial. But you are correct in the sense that I believe tax evaders steal from society and should be punished like thieves.

  5. There are no rules unless there is an obligation to enforce the rules. The government does not have to be a ruler, it can be the servant of the people that enforces the rules decided by the people. Which is what a Democracy is supposed to be.

    Anarchists want to be free of those obligations, which is an unworkable starting point when some people refuse to abide by the rules, and gang together to use force to break the rules and have their way. If nobody is obligated to stop them, nobody risks their life TO stop them, and they use the power of numbers to ambush and overwhelm others one family at a time, growing all the time.

    It is too late to stop Genghis when the Horde is at the city gates and outnumbers the city dwellers a hundred to one. The only way to stop Genghis from winning it all is to stop him at his first infraction, when his Horde is just a tribe, with a collective larger than his tribe.

    Before Saddam ruled Iraq, he was a street thug and gang leader. His rise to brutal psychopathic power was a failure of government enabled by incompetent law enforcement that should have stopped him at 12 years of age (since Saddam was murdering people at 10).

    Rules mean nothing if people are free to break them, and that is what they are if nobody is obligated to punish the rule breakers, or at least fund police, courts, and investigators to punish them.

  6. Ed: I would swear that you were a house negro.

    I presume that is supposed to be some sort of insult; but I am not a racist like you, so I fail to see how it is supposed to insult me.

    In any case, thanks for the enlightenment on your motivations for “anarchy,” presumably you are just wishing you could have owned slaves or oppressed other minorities and lived high on their misery and stolen labor. Now we know what “anarchy” means to you and the laws you want abolished, all those pesky laws that force you to treat other people as human beings.

  7. Thanks Tony C.,Ed & evrybody!..i jst read ur illuminating debate/ discussion..nd enjoyed it thoroughly!
    I think nobody likes to be dictated or forced to do or not to do something or to live one’s life in a certain way – be it a ‘law’ or any other form of authority that dictates it- because we all like freedom..freedom of every kind!..probably there is an anarchist in each one of us that likes no bondage to any laws or regulations!..it is simply human nature!..but at the same time we humans r intelligent enough to understand that the world, infact the whole cosmos, doesn’t operate/run/move without some inherent rules nd laws!..even our own body nd its working is subject to certain rules nd laws !..so laws there are..everywhere!..nd there is no escaping them!!..it is actually a question of having a better law (or form of government)in place of a bad or useless one..& it is also about how best to implement the laws meant for the larger good of the society & how to prevent that gang of selfish/psychopath/sociopath or power- hungry people from usurping power for their own selfish ends …

    1. raj, Anarchists want rules. They don’t want rulers. When there are rulers there are no rules, only the whims of the rulers.

  8. Ed: As I said, experience. Apparently you have none. And we are not lazy, we just aren’t stupid enough to waste time on a pointless exercise. Either you understand the logic behind your philosophy but cannot be bothered to explain it (so YOU are lazy), or you haven’t bothered to even understand the logic (which means YOU are lazy). Why should we expend any effort refuting your fool ideas if you are too lazy to expound upon them? Even if I did so bother, and refuted them, you are too lazy too follow any logic so you will take the lazy man’s out and claim I must have misread or misunderstood. It is a pointless exercise, debating a lazy fool, at best you provide a foil for me to explain that to others.

    1. Tony C. If it wasn’t the year 2013, I would swear that you were a house negro.
      You’re either bought or a coward, therefore a waste of time.
      I feel badly for your offspring.

  9. Ed: As Mike said. I am old enough to recognize your deception by “superiority,” of pretending I am the one that needs to do some homework, that you are “enlightened” and I am not, that you know the answers and if I would just read your links I would agree with you, and until I do I am ignorant.

    But it IS a deception. If you were conversant with your philosophy, as I am with mine, you could explain how you overcome such problems in a few paragraphs; exactly as I have pointed the central flaw in your philosophy in a few paragraphs.

    The reason you do not do so is because you cannot, you have no idea how that problem can be solved without appealing to the kindness or self-sacrifice of strangers, which is not always present or forthcoming.

    If you understood the reasoning behind the philosophy you have adopted you could argue it. Instead, you are just an incompetent buffoon that wants the benefits of the final results claimed (which are entirely fictional pipe dreams) without having to do any of the work of analysis. You tell me to read your links, either as a deflection to claim you are right despite my logic, or perhaps in the hope that I will be as dumb as you and join your camp of fools.

    Neither will work; you are transparent. You have no argument, because you have no understanding, and you and your camp have no plausible plan of action for addressing the central problem that government solves without abandoning anarchy and engaging in collective action to answer a coercive force with a greater force.

  10. Ed says: For someone who admits to willful ignorance, you sure seem awful certain.

    That’s because I have life experience dealing with selfish people and criminals, Ed, from the petty thief drug addicts to men with massive fortunes. I am, somewhat, read in the history of them. And it is because I have the ability to reason, Ed, and see the patterns in behavior that would destroy any semblance of “anarchy.”

    I may be ignorant of your anarchic philosophy, but I am not ignorant of life, I do not imagine that truly brutal and violent people exist, I am not ignorant of the sociopathic mindset of an alarming share of corporate officers.

    You are apparently blind to the darker sides of human nature that reside in virtually all of us, when desperation looms large. That is human nature, most people will fight for what they need to survive, most people do not have the fortitude to choose ideology or morality or pacifism if that would demand starvation or death or pain for them or the ones they love.

    Anarchy doesn’t work because some people are born with deficits, not in intelligence, but in their ability to interact fairly with others and refrain from violence, fraud, theft and coercion in getting their selfish way. Such people are only controlled by threats and force. When they gang together, which is in their self-interest, the only thing that controls them is a bigger gang large enough to defeat them despite their brutality, a collective that opposes them. But the collective needs rules and a common understanding to prevent becoming an oppressive force in its own right; and those rules are “government.” Ergo, not ANARCHY.

    If you think you have some form of anarchy that defies that logic, You will have to detail exactly how you address the central problem, how to preserve your anarchy against the predation of any gang of violent sociopathic murderers, torturers and rapists that would end it and impose some form of dictatorial rule and subjugation of the majority.

    Pretending that won’t happen is a fantasy; “subjects” are called thusly because they were “subjugated.” The Kings and Emperors and Pharaohs of yore took their positions by violence; the anarchic tribes of Africa were easily enslaved, the anarchic tribes of the Americas were all slaughtered for their land and wealth, and they only presented any threat (too little, too late) when they organized behind leaders.

    You cannot just pretend the central problem does not exist because you have some fantasy it won’t occur; that is contrary to all historical precedent. I can agree our current form of government is not working very well, I personally think it needs to be severely re-engineered to address the corruptive flaws that are blindingly obvious (at least to me). But it is better than nothing in its halting and moronic way, because simple logic tells me that nothing (anarchy) doesn’t stand a chance of lasting long at all.

    Just like life in the regions of the world that have failed governments, anarchy would degenerate into the micro-dictatorships of warlords and battling chieftains for generations. Until some very brutal and very smart Genghis or William or Napoleon or Saddam was born into the lucky (for them) circumstances that let them rise to power, to conquer and rule a kingdom. That is the real human nature, played out literally more times than we can count.

      1. “@ Tony C. If you had not decided to remain ignorant, you would have the answers to your questions.”

        Ed,

        I would apologize for interrupting your dialog with Tony, but in this case there is no dialog. Tony raised some very telling points about your anarchic view and it is easy to discern from your comment in response that you nave not even the slightest of rebuttals to offer. As Tony put it:

        “If you think you have some form of anarchy that defies that logic, You will have to detail exactly how you address the central problem, how to preserve your anarchy against the predation of any gang of violent sociopathic murderers, torturers and rapists that would end it and impose some form of dictatorial rule and subjugation of the majority.

        Pretending that won’t happen is a fantasy”

        Ed, passionately I would love to live in the kind of Utopian society you describe. I believe in freedom. The problem is that Anarchy and Libertarianism will always dissolve into tyranny because right now there are enough sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists among our species who will take freedom as an opportunity to get power. Until you solve that endemic problem all you are doing is wishful thinking.

  11. UPDATE: Montana Supreme Court blocks new sentencing for teacher in sex with student

    “The bizarre case of the Montana teacher sentenced to 30 days in jail for having sex with a 14-year-old student took another U-turn Friday when the state Supreme Court blocked a judge from revising the sentence.

    The teacher, Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, had been scheduled to be resentenced Friday afternoon, just three days after state District Judge G. Todd Baugh said he had misread state law and said the correct punishment should be a prison stay of two years.

    Less than an hour before the hearing, the Supreme Court stepped in and ordered Baugh to halt the hearing after prosecutors filed an emergency petition arguing that only the high court itself can decide the matter.

    Baugh canceled the hearing later Friday afternoon, saying the whole mess “could have been avoided altogether if I’d been more alert or if the state had pointed out to the court the correct mandatory minimum,” NBC station KULR of Billings reported.

    The court said the next step would be an appeal of Baugh’s sentence that state Attorney General Tim Fox filed Wednesday. At the original sentencing hearing last week, prosecutors sought to send Rambold away for at least 10 years, and they have said they’re concerned Baugh would insist on only two years.

    Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito told KULR on Wednesday that a judge’s oral sentence is deemed final. Twito agreed that the sentence was illegal, but he said nebause that’s a matter for a higher court to decide, it was outside of the law for Baugh to schedule a do-over.”

  12. Gene: Hooray! Perhaps justice will prevail after all. Maybe Baugh will have the common sense to recuse himself and let a different Judge hear the case.

    (I’d insult him again, but at least he has the honesty to admit a mistake, so not in this post.)

    TC

  13. UPDATE:

    Embattled Montana judge orders new sentencing for teacher convicted of sex with student

    “The Montana judge who created a national uproar when he sentenced a teacher to 30 days in jail for having sex with a 14-year-old student backed down Tuesday and ordered a new sentencing hearing.

    Former Billings Senior High School teacher Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, will be back in court Friday after state District Judge G. Todd Baugh said Tuesday that he’d misread state law and that he now believed Rambold should have faced, at minimum, two years in prison.”

  14. Ed says: I raised my daughter…

    You make the error of narrow focus, mistaking the “typical” for the complete spectrum. Like thinking the visible spectrum of light is all the light that there is; when scientific investigation shows that is just a very narrow slice of photonic frequency. The philosophy you embrace does the same.

    In this case, because you think your daughter is normal or typical, you assume all children can be raised more or less like your daughter. If only 1% of children are born sociopaths, the same experience would be true for 97.5% of parents; their 2.5 children will be teachable and have a natural inclination to care for others.

    Your personal experience does not make your philosophy “universal.”

    I notice you fail to refute any of the logic I present, all you do is keep providing links that say (in effect) “read the book I read, it made sense to me!”

    So I will re-iterate too. If you cannot explain it in your own words, you don’t really know how it works, you just like the conclusion at the end, in which apparently everybody is nice to each other (or they get murdered), nobody breaks the law and there is no government or laws (just lynch mob justice, apparently).

    Unless you can provide a plausible reason why, without law or government, a person that truly fears their baby is going to starve would voluntarily refrain from taking my food by force, your anarchist philosophy is just useless crap. Since you claim your philosophy rejects pointing guns at people, I presume that means you reject threatening violence against a thief: That is all a law against thievery is doing, isn’t it? Threatening thieves with violence if they steal?

    Or how about, the person that truly thinks their baby is going to starve stealing my food without violence, by subterfuge or deception, like harvesting fruit from my tree at night? (or milking my goat, or stealing a few eggs from my coop I might never know were taken)?

    The majority of people are not saints and never will be. They may never resort to murder, but their morals depend upon context, and the more stress and danger and desperation they are in, the more latitude they allow themselves in what is “right” and “wrong.” There are no universals.

    That truth is reflected in our law and in your own statement: You have no problem with “self defense.” Which means, whether we (and you) consider right or wrong to kill another human being depends upon the context in which you would pull the trigger; if you are threatened and frightened enough, even killing another human being is excusable.

    If our logic is going to be coherent, then what is true for the extreme action must be true for the lesser moral transgressions. I can imagine contexts in which theft is excusable, threats of violence are excusable, even fraud is excusable. When life and survival are on the line, morality is on the line with it.

    There are no universally preferable behaviors, and any philosophy based upon such absolutes will run into intractable problems. It sounds to me like your “universally preferable behaviors” are just a stealth synonym for “laws”, those that do not behave in accordance with them get punished, by ostracizing or “self defense” mob violence or lynching.

    Anarchy produces violence against innocents because nothing prevents it. If your universal mental state could be achieved, so could any other universal mental state:

    1) Like pure communism, in which nobody ever slacks in their contribution, takes a free ride, or demands more than they actually need,

    2) Like a stable dictatorship, in which everybody agrees they should have an all-powerful king that can kill them or take what they have on a whim,

    3) Like a pure democracy in which power is vested in a government that never oversteps its bounds, and all people believe that majority rule with certain Rights is a good and fair form of Government.

    But clearly you yourself serve as an example that such universal mindsets cannot be achieved, you disagree with our form of government. Thus you yourself serve as the counter-example to your own philosophy: The change of mindset that you demand from others is something you could not even achieve in yourself, or you would have accepted some form of majority rule, democratic government instead of rejecting it entirely and advocating for the radical alternative of anarchy.

  15. Ed says: How many do you think would be inclined to join a gang if they were raised in a world where they had peaceful well adjusted people that rejected the concept of having a ruler?

    Yes, how many would be inclined if they could all live like millionaires?
    How many would be inclined if they all believed exactly the same thing?
    How many would be inclined if they all had everything they needed or wanted, were all revered, and were always forgiven and forgiving of any transgressions of any kind?

    The world doesn’t work that way, people are not peaceful or well-adjusted by their nature, and people do not reject the concept of having somebody in charge, or an army.

    You claim you have no problem with self defense: The government IS our implementation of self-defense, and prosecuting the sick and insane that think it is okay to prey upon 14 year olds, at the point of a gun, IS how we defend ourselves.

    The army IS our implementation of self-defense, the police are, the laws are.

    You claim “insanity” can be recognized and treated. How, exactly? Is that going to be mandatory by law? Insanity can begin at any age. Will we have required testing? What if somebody refuses? Shall they be coerced into testing? What if they refuse to answer questions? Will they be assumed insane and therefore incarcerated, at the point of a gun?

    1% to 2% of people are sociopaths from the earliest ages we can test for that, so presumably they are born that way (and there are mental markers that suggest a developmental abnormality can be responsible for sociopathy).

    There will never be a time when “everybody” is peaceful or well-adjusted or non-violent, NOT EVER. Basing a philosophy of life and societal organization on the idea that can exist is not just a fantasy, it is a dangerous pretense that ignores reality and would cause untold harm to innocents, and convincing anybody to act as if sociopaths, murderers and violent criminals are not walking the mall alongside them is putting them in danger.

  16. Ed: You made the assumption from my previous post that it is “shitty parents” who are responsible for the sexual abuse of children. Although that can be the case, surely you’ve heard otherwise from the news — for instance, a prominent football coach at a Pennsylvania college sexually abusing multiples young boys, school teachers, the creep in the park, etc, etc.

    You obviously know nothing about “the welfare state” and that it doesn’t enrich people. And here you make other assumptions — that being a single mother is a bad situation. The vast majority of single women are great mothers. Women are “single” mothers for many reasons, divorce, abandonment by the father, death, choosing to adopt or have a baby on their own, the list goes on. Want to solve the “problem” for single women? Give them access to jobs that will adequately support them and their families — surely you do know that women make far less money than men for the same work and experience!

    And your rant about “public schools” shows you nothing about public schools. I come from a family of public school teachers and had an excellent education and experience from my public schools, so much so that I continued with public schools by going to public universities — go visit a public school sometime! Take a public school teacher to lunch — you’ll be impressed. One final point — it’s illogical that you complain about “shitty parents” and then advocate for them to teach children at home.

    All this being said, I sincerely appreciate the fact that you are putting your opinions on these posts and engaging in the conversation.

  17. Ed,

    Des folks only know how to irritate the Tea Party folks. They think government should be paying for everything. If you want to have sex with your 14 year old sisters brothers daughters son that’s your business. If you want to have sex with your neighbors sheep. That’s your business as well. If we could only live the way you prophets want.

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