Stacey Dean Rambold, 55, is heading back to jail after his resentencing as a sex offender. After a light sentence of just 31 days in jail for the statutory rape of Cherice Moralez, 14, Rambold was given a sentence of 15 years in prison. Moralez committed suicide in 2010 before the case went to trial.
There was a national outcry after Judge G. Todd Baugh handed Rambold a 15-year sentence with all but 31 days suspended. The Montana Supreme Court later reversed that sentencing as based on an inapplicable statute and Baugh resentenced Rambold to 15 years in prison, with five years of that suspended.
Without Moralez, prosecutors had struck a deal with Rambold that initially allowed him to avoid prison altogether. However, he was accused of violating that agreement by having unauthorized visits with relatives’ children and entering into a relationship with an adult woman without telling his counselor. That led to his pleading guilty last year to the count of sexual intercourse without consent.
The defense sought to introduce evidence that Moralez was a willing participant in the sexual relations. Baugh outraged many with his comments at trial that Moralez “appeared older than her chronological age.”
It was a particularly outrageous observation since Rambold had sexual relations with Morales in fall 2007 when she was just 14 and a student in one of his classes at Billings Senior High. He certainly knew her age. He was her teacher.
Baugh was later given a 30-day suspension from the bench and a public censure for his statements in the case and he has announced his retirement.
26 thoughts on “Former Teacher Is Re-Sentenced For Statutory Rape With Increase From 31 Days To 10 Years In Jail”
Had this been a female teacher, she would have seen probation, and suspension of her teaching credentials. But a male… a hetero male at that… look out.
Man marries teen, case dismissed
Teacher marries ex-student to avoid jail for rape
Max-1 – in some states that is still a valid defense to statutory rape. It was a defense in Montana when I was young. 🙂
I think it was in many states, and may still, in fact, be, although it is falling out of favor.
maxcat06 – when I was growing up what is now consensual sex between minors was considered statutory rape. I had a classmate do time in the reform school because he would not marry the girl. Laws change all the time. I am so glad I am not dating. I have no idea anymore what is legal and what is not.
Truthseeker, You may be the most forthcoming person here. Good luck w/ your journey through the system.
I feel very sorry for the girl. It is my understanding this contributed to her suicide. Her poor family. This guy seems like a predator to me.
Paul – thanks for the clarification. Does the age for pedophilia vs statutory rape vary by state, or is there a set age in the psychological definition? I personally think the cutoff should be higher than 11, and still be considered pedophilia. I recall an earlier thread in which some states do not consider it statutory rape if the difference in age is 2 years, and the younger person is at least 16. That avoids the whole sophomore dating senior triggering the charge.
Back when I was a human in a prior life I was a male 17 year old student porking a 24 year old female teacher and although some knew and some were a bit upset, it was basically ok. At the same time there was a male teacher who was porking a female student age 17 and she got knocked up and they got married. She miscarried, divorced him and he got drafted and went to Nam. Now, I would rather go to Nam than to prison but it is ridiculous to condemn sex between consenting people when either is over 16. Old enough to drive then you are old enough to drive on your back.
A reply we were requested to post: “Miss Schulte and the rest of you need to interview a sex offender and find out what their life is like before you open your mouth. It is a standard operating procedure for any person released from prison to sex offender probation to sign an agreement stating that they will not have sex or date anyone. Violation of this agreement is grounds for termination of probation. You are not even permitted to date a person until you have completed certain stages of sex offender treatment program and are granted permission by probation to date. If you are like me and have an appeal in process sex offender treatment program will not take you, so consequently for the last 19 1/2 years I have remained solitary and celibate. Just try pulling that one off for a month, it’s not easy. In addition to that, once dating is permitted, the person you intend to date must be informed of your charges and a private meeting with the potential dating subject must take place with probation. Romance just flew out the window. Good luck having a normal life after all that!”
Truthseeker – I hope you will not hold it against me if I say that there is something morally abhorrent about an agreement that does not allow you to date.
Was this the one O’Reilly went nuts about? Are some judges just suspicious about rape? I’ve heard some bizarre sentences, or none at all. I was on a jury and watched the judge nap. Knew that because he jerked awake. The prosecutor also made all kinds of physical reactions to testimony, no judicial reprimand. So, I went to the head judge (had to wait 2 weeks) and told him, as a juror, I thought it wasn’t a fair trial. He patted me on the head, said thank you, and sent me on my way. Does anyone think he said anything to the judge? At least about dozing?
Sandi – It is possible it gently went up the line and a monitor was sent to the court to make sure the judge was not sleeping. My understanding is that the untoward gestures by the prosecution are to be objected to by the defense. If they are not paying attention, the judge probably is not going to get involved. That being said, there is some evidence that some judges are very prosecution minded, so it would do them no good anyway.
To all of the attorneys present: I commend this change in sentencing, but can this guy’s lawyer appeal, claiming that, in essence, he had already been sentenced?
Ray Rice is appealing, albeit through his union, the change in his suspension from 2 to 6 games, and I think he has grounds, since the “rules” were changed after Goddell (oh, what a waste of space) finally came around and realized how bad he looked.
I know I’m conflating apples and oranges, but Rice’s case is what made me wonder.
Since she was a high school student, he had reason to believe she was a minor.
At least here in CA, teachers unions always back the teacher, even in the case of a conviction for pedophilia, against getting fired. (See Miramonte teacher who fed his students cookies covered in his semen.) What does it matter, if they go to jail? Well, when they get out, they have a nice pension to support them, earned in their hunting grounds.
What if there is a serious complaint, but there’s not enough to press charges? Since it takes years in court and hundreds of thousands of dollars to fire a teacher for cause, those teachers just get passed on to another unsuspecting district. This is similar to the scandal where Catholic pedophile priests kept getting passed along to unsuspecting new parishes.
That is why most parents support merit-based pay, no tenure, and the ability to fire a teacher for cause. It works in the private sector quite well, where there are protections against unlawful termination.
Karen – since she was a high school student she could be either a minor or a major. I have had students as old as 22 in my high school classes.
Glad the Supreme Court saw reason.
Can anyone explain why this was prosecuted as statutory rape and not a straight pedophilia case?
Karen – on the pedophilia, that is a specific age range, usually under 11. I disagreed with Turley on be able to intuit the student’s age when they are in your class which is incorrect, but I think this guy is dead wrong to have any kind of contact with her.
@Paul, probationary terms can include virtually anything. The state can even set the terms of where you live, ie. a certain county and not to venture beyond it, or in one example in a former office that I worked at they set the condition that he enter training/school based on the assertion that that is what he wanted to do and if you don’t want to agree to those terms, you can feel free to remain imprisoned.
I’m wondering if, in their zeal to convict this guy, they didn’t do great damage to the unfortunate girl. What if she loved him and thought she had ruined his life? What if some small degree of publicity shamed her into the suicide? Justice is one thing – but don’t hurt the victim further.
I don’t care if the student had flunked 4 grades and was 18 years old at the time, or was a fully developed “woman”; it is inappropriate for a teacher to have a sexual relationship with a student…period.
” Rambold was given a 14,000 time increase to 15 years in prison.”
I am not sure how you calculate the increase but 14,000 seems a bit extreme even for this heinous crime.
I am pretty sure the increase is more like 180 or maybe 176 depending on whether you use months or days.
Even with leap days and years thrown in I don’t think it gets up to 14,000, however much he might deserve it.
I think the Montana Supreme Court read the papers to decide the case rather than followed the law, would not be the first time an appellate court has bowed to pressure. I do not agree with the original sentence or the reasoning behind it, but it was what it was.
I really have problems with his probation including his having to tell his probation officer who he is having relations with. Entering into a relationship with an adult woman would seem to be a healthy thing for him to do.
On a side note, you do not know your student’s ages. You might have a guess, but you are not allowed to go into their records, that is private and you do not have a right to look at that. There are kids who are younger and older in every class, there is just no way to tell for sure how old a student is, especially a girl, since girls have starting maturing earlier.
I do not condone his screwing his student, that is wrong and he should be punished for that.
Darren, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
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