A confessed rapist jailed for 30 days for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student, who later killed herself, walked out of prison on Thursday after his sentence expired.
The case of Stacey Dean Rambold, a former teacher at Billings Senior High in Montana, sparked national outrage and protests after District Judge G. Todd Baugh, who handed down the lenient sentence, said the victim was “older than her chronological age” and was “as much in control of the situation” as her attacker.
Judge Baugh later apologized for his outrageous remarks and rescheduled a hearing to determine if the original sentence should be increased to two years, which is the minimum for such an offence under state law.
But Montana’s Supreme Court earlier this month blocked the move to resentence Rambold, and prosecutors have reportedly appealed to the high court.
Rambold was charged in October 2008 with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent, the Montana equivalent of rape.
But the criminal case was still pending when his victim, Cherice Moralez, committed suicide in 2010.
Prosecutors struck a deal with Rambold in which he admitted to a single rape charge to be dismissed in three years if he successfully completed sex offender treatment.
But the case was reactivated in December after they learned that Rambold had been kicked out of the program for numerous violations, including unsupervised visits with minors.
Rambold will be on probation for the next 15 years.