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Montana Teacher’s 1-Month Rape Sentence Overturned

A former high school teacher who served one month in prison after being convicted of raping a 14-year-old student faces more time behind bars after the Montana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that his original sentence was too short.

Justices in a unanimous ruling ordered the case of Stacey Dean Rambold assigned to a new judge for re-sentencing.

The decision means Rambold must serve a minimum of two years in prison under state sentencing laws, Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said.

The high court cited, in part, the inflammatory comments of the sentencing judge, District Judge G. Todd Baugh, who drew wide condemnation for suggesting that the victim shared some responsibility for her rape.

Baugh said during Rambold's sentencing in August that the teenager was "probably as much in control of the situation as the defendant." He later apologized.

Image:
A Billings Police Department booking photo of Stacey D. Rambold taken on Aug. 26, 2013. Stacey Rambold was sentenced to 30 days in prison for raping a 14-year-old student. Billings Police Department

Rambold was released after fulfilling the original sentence last fall and is expected to remain free pending his reappearance in state District Court.

The defendant was a 47-year-old business teacher at Billings Senior High School at the time of the 2007 rape. The victim, one of his students, killed herself while Rambold was awaiting trial.

Rambold's sentence had been appealed by the state Department of Justice.

Attorney General Tim Fox said the Supreme Court's decision had "rebuffed attempts to place blame on a child victim of this horrible crime."

Under state law, children younger than 16 cannot consent to sexual intercourse.

— The Associated Press