Montana judge says month-long prison term for rape may be too lenient

(Reuters) - A Montana judge who controversially sentenced an ex-teacher to a month in prison for raping a student who later killed herself said on Tuesday the penalty may been more lenient than allowed by law and called a new hearing for the end of the week.

District Judge G. Todd Baugh came under harsh criticism last week for sentencing former Billings high school teacher Stacey Rambold to 15 years in prison, then suspending all but 31 days of that term, for the 2007 rape of 14-year-old Cherice Moralez.

On Tuesday, Baugh said it appeared Montana law mandated a two year minimum sentence for the crime and set a new hearing for Friday.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman in Idaho; Writing by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Greg McCune)