The Montana Supreme Court has overturned the one-month sentence given to Stacey Rambold, a 54-year-old former teacher who raped his 14-year-old student. The initial sentence of one month angered many, including women’s groups that deemed the sentence too light for the crime that was committed.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the sentence given to Rambold was too short based on the state’s laws. As a result, the court asked a new judge to take on the case and give a new sentence to the defendant.
Rambold was charged with three counts of rape in 2008 for having sexual intercourse without consent with one of his students, Cherice Moralez. Moralez committed suicide in 2010 while the defendant was awaiting trial.
Rambold has already served his original sentence and was set free last fall. Based on the decision made on Wednesday, Rambold must now serve at least two years for his crime. However, the Supreme Court did not specify the sentence, which means that Rambold could spend more time in prison than the specified two-year minimum sentence.
His attorney’s, on the other hand, are insisting that the original sentence was enough. They also say that Moralez was partly responsible for the rape, referencing taped interviews before her death.
The President of the Montana chapter of the National Organization for Women, Marian Bradley, welcomed the Supreme Court’s new ruling regarding the case. She said that overturning Rambold’s sentence “sends a clear message to the judiciary that women in Montana and women across the nation will not stand for the injustice and misconduct” that happened with the case.
Scott Twito, an attorney for the Yellowstone County, said that he would consult other attorneys in his office. He would also be discussing the issue with the victim’s family before he decides how much prison time the prosecutors will seek.
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