A Montana teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old student who later committed suicide will serve just 30 days in prison after a judge suspended almost his entire 15-year sentence.
The student’s mother, who had previously testified that the rape was a “major factor” in her daughter Cherice Morales’s suicide, repeatedly screamed “you people suck!” during sentencing on Monday before storming out, the Billings Gazette reports.
The teacher, Stacey Dean Rambold, was charged in 2008 with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent. He pleaded guilty to one count, but the case was complicated by the girl’s suicide just weeks before her 17th birthday. Rambold was ordered to complete a sex-offender treatment program to have the charges dismissed, but prosecutors revived the case when they learned he had been terminated from the program.
The judge, who said Morales was “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold, said that the teacher’s termination from the program did not warrant the lengthy imprisonment. He suspended all but 31 days of the 15-year sentence — and gave Rambold credit for one day already served.