Montana Officials Appeal Teacher’s ‘Lenient’ One-Month Rape Sentence

Prosecutors asking for a new sentence of 20 years in prison

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Billings Gazette, Paul Ruhter, File / AP

Stacey Rambold standing in a courtroom after sentencing by Judge G. Todd Baugh in Billings, Mont.

Prosecutors are asking the Montana Supreme Court to reconsider the 30-day sentence given to a teacher who raped a 14-year-old girl.

The state’s attorney office filed an appeal Friday, demanding Stacy Rambold serve a longer sentence for the rape of Cherice Moralez after spending just one month in jail. Rambold was released from Montana State Prison in September, the Associated Press reports.

The case gained national attention when¬†District Judge G. Todd Baugh said the victim was “older than her chronological age” in August. The judge later apologized and said he was referring to a videotaped interview with Moralez, which has not been disclosed to the public.¬†Moralez committed suicide before the trial.

State prosecutors argue Rambold’s sentence was illegally lenient and is asking for a new sentence of 20 years in prison with 10 years suspended. The former teacher is on probation through 2028 and is a registered level 1 sex offender, which means he’s considered “low risk.”