b>Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
We previously reported HERE and HERE what many believe to be a grave miscarriage of justice where Montana School Teacher Stacey Dean Rambold was sentenced to Fifteen Years in prison with all but thirty one days suspended after being convicted of the child rape of a fourteen year old student. The victim later committed suicide.
After a public outcry and pressure placed upon the former judge and the prosecutor’s office Judge Randal Spaulding resentenced Rambold, this time to 15 years in prison, with five years of suspended, according to a prosecutor in the case. The court remanded Rambold to custody. He will receive credit for time served under his original sentence.
The presiding Judge in the trial, G. Todd Baugh, garnered intense opposition to his decision and for comments seeming to belittle the crime and essentially that of the child victim. The Montana Judicial Standards commission ruled in February that he “eroded public confidence” in the judicial system and “created an appearance of impropriety.” Judge Baugh said the victim looked older than her years and was “probably as much in control of the situation as was the defendant,” according to the Montana attorney general’s office.
State Supreme Court Justice Michael E. Wheat wrote in ruling in April that Baugh’s comments reflected an improper bias and “cast serious doubt on the appearance of justice.”
The Montana Supreme Court prevented Judge Baugh from resentencing Rambold.
According to CNN, Judge Baugh announced his retirement effective at years end. He stated his retirement was unrelated to the sentencing controversy. He apologized for the comments but defended his initial sentence. Writing to a judicial review board, he said: “I am sorry I made those remarks. They focused on the victim when that aspect of the case should have been focused on the defendant.”
At least now a measure of justice was served for the child victim and her family.
By Darren Smith
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.
23 thoughts on “Montana Teacher Convicted Over Child Rape Resentenced After Public Outcry Of Original Thirty One Day Jail Term”
Good thing he didn’t have a few ounces of marijuana, they might have put him in prison for a few years. Raping and molesting kids, fine, doing pot or selling a little of it, dangerous criminal.
QUOTE “The victim later committed suicide.”
This was said in the other posts, but what was not said was WHY she committed suicide…?? From him, or from her parents, from authorities?
That part of the story was never cleared up….
There seems to be more to this story than is being said.
I take it that the child was not a daughter of a judge.
He is kind of ‘handsome’…. I hope ‘Buuba’ is gentle with him the first time….
“It took some time, but the victim finally received some measure of justice.”
Dead victims are listening and rejoicing in Amurkan just us.
Incompetency at the highest level. From the misguided sentence to…. what the hell does ‘she looked older than her years’ have to do with a conviction for rape?
The Montana Attorney General’s Office appealed the 31-day sentence, saying it did not meet the state’s mandatory minimum sentence.
The teachers actions were criminal and the judges sentence ridiculous.
Nevertheless there is something troubling about being resentenced after serving the original sentence.
What ever the crime and however troubling the original sentence, shouldn’t the convicted be able to meet the demands made by society without fear that they will be called back?
This is an exceptional case. But it suggest that no one convicted can ever be confident they have served their debt to society and move on with their life.
I don’t know about the law but resentencing after the sentence has been served seems to be bad policy – even if on rare occasions someone truly deserving of serious time gets away with a light sentence.
My remarks are not intended to, in any way, condone or support the criminal acts of this teacher or the egregious actions of the judge.
Baugh said he weighed all relevant factors in passing sentence. “The defendant’s last legal or moral transgression was the crime he committed and admitted,” he wrote. “In the ensuing almost six years, he had legally and morally good conduct, he was reinstated in sex offender treatment and the undisputed evidence supported community placement and treatment.” http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/02/justice/montana-rape-judge/index.html
Stacey Dean Rambold was reinstated in sex offender treatment? Were I on Montana’s State Supreme Court, I would be taking a close look at all his sexual crimes sentencing and investigating what background checks are mandatory for all MT teachers. There could be more to this story.
Thanks for the follow-up on this, Darren.
Thank to Bill O’Reilly and FOX News for bringing this to attention when it first happened!!!
A good judicial system allows the correction of egregious errors, and also prevents an otherwise legally supportable ruling from being “corrected” just because it is unpopular. The original sentence in this case was an egregious error. The fact that the original ruling was also unpopular, by itself, should not prevent the ruling from being corrected.
I know it’s not double jeopardy because Alex Trebec told me so. I’m not familiar with Montana law, but federal law in the US allows both defendants and prosecutors to appeal sentences based on legal error by the sentencing judge. Being resentenced to a longer term after a successful appeal by prosecutors does not violate double jeopardy.
It’s clearly not double jeopardy. He was convicted of the crime. This is the sentencing phase, not adjudication which is where the “double jeopardy” is illegal,
Ignore the idiots that take this resentencing as an opening to conditions that might erode our basic rights. The judge was past his prime and probably should never been a judge. The attitude that the child looked older and probably wanted it is something out of a past we should be distancing ourselves from but never forgetting. The teacher has a responsibility and by failing to live up to it, the teacher committed crimes against those whose well being he was supposed to protect.
There is nothing to discuss here other than the teacher must do at least ten years in jail as an example to other teachers who fancy an older looking child. The law and punishment is designed primarily to deter. A month in jail is revolting.
indio – he is not be tried a second time, just sentenced a second time. My understanding is that is not double jeopardy.
Maricopa County has the court administrator who monitors the sentencing by the criminal courts to make sure they are equal. This is the sort of thing that would never happen.
How is this not double jeopardy?
Why not simply but is sentence on the ballet and we can vote. If we don’t like the results , we try again maybe using dice or a roulette wheel to come up with a number.
Just remember they always start with the child molesters.
Amber Alerts have already been used in NY to catch people for crimes.
I’m sure they will expand the “sex” offender registry (don’t piss in public!) and start using it for other crimes fairly soon.
Perhaps, stepheng2010, but a sentence based upon the whim of a judge who seemingly didn’t understand the crime didn’t seem lawful either.
Yes Martha, occasionally there is justice.
Intuitively, a resentencing based on public opinion seems illegal.
Darren, Good job following up on this. It took some time, but the victim finally received some measure of justice. There are many bad judges out there and sunlight is the best way to disinfect their harm.
Comments are closed.