Teacher Who Raped 14-Year-Old Girl Only Gets 30 Days Because Judge Says She Was 'in Control'

14 year old rape victimStacey Dean Rambold, a 54-year-old teacher from Montana, has been sentenced to only 30 days in prison after he raped his 14-year-old student five years ago. She subsequently killed herself during the criminal investigation, just shy of her 17th birthday. Thirty days. And yet, horrifying as that is, that's not even the worst part.

The judge in the case didn't blame this man who was nearly 50 years old and in a position of power over this very young and troubled girl. He blamed the girl. Judge G. Todd Baugh said she knew what she was doing, was "older than her chronological age," and that she was "in control" as much as he was. He said all of this despite the 35-year age difference and his clear position of power over her.

And that's not all he said. In his "apology" letter, he was even worse. See below:

I think that people have in mind that this was some violent, forcible, horrible rape ... It was horrible enough as it is just given her age, but it wasn't this forcible beat-up rape.

Tell me: how is that different from Todd Akin's comments about "legitimate rape"? But even more, how is it possible that a judge could be so blind about the law? The age of consent in Montana is 16. This girl was under it by two years.

Even more, this teacher was nearly 50 years old. He knew much better. He just didn't care. Of course, people are outraged. There have been multiple protests, and when the sentence was handed down, the victim's mother shouted out at the judge in anger. Who could blame her? Her child is dead and "justice" is a joke.

The way teen girls are treated in this society is often appalling. Miley Cyrus (though not a teen at 20) is attacked for dancing provocatively while the 36-year-old man she twerked on is left alone.

Look at how 16-year-old Hannah Anderson is presumed to have had a role in her kidnapping and the murder of her mother and brother even though she is barely more than a child. 

We may say 16 or 18 is the legal age of consent, but basically any girl who has gone through puberty and isn't willing to play the demure "good girl" is suspect. She might be complicit in her own rape if she is "troubled" or wears the wrong outfit or leads a man 35 years her senior on to the point of no return.

This judge needs to be removed from the bench. That much is obvious. But it's not just him. There are so many men and women who feel this way about teen girls, who blame first before they look at the facts.

This girl is dead because no one protected her and then she is victimized again after her death by a judge who says it's her fault. And many of us are OK with this. It's just heartbreaking. As her mother says:

I don't believe in justice anymore. She wasn't even old enough to get a driver's license.

How can any of us say we believe in a system that would do this?

 

Image via Alex/Flickr

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Chana... Chanandler.Bong

I don't often agree with you, but on this subject, I'm with you 100%. Our society tends to slut shame women of all ages, while giving men a free pass. We are especially hard on teenagers, often forgetting that they are still legally children. It's disgusting how women (and young girls) are held responsible for sexual attacks and crimes against them.

Pinst... Pinstripes4

Please tell me there is an appeal.

Craft... CraftyJenna

The judge actually also said this monster has "suffered enough" because he lost his home, job and wife. Thye should both be in prison, sharing a damn cell. This judge needs to be off the bench, ASAP, as he obviously has no understanding or respect for women, children or the law. 

tessi... tessiekat

We don't question the victims of theft and murder.  We don't say that they asked to get robbed, or they were asking to get murdered.  We don't blame them for any part of the crime.  Even if they had left their front door unlocked.  There is no blame, and there never should be. 
Why do we question the victims of sexual assault? I thought only the public and prosecution lawyers did this, now judges do?  It makes me sick.

britt... brittneyleigh88

No, just no. This man should have to live out the rest of his sorry life in prison. Rip, poor girl.

nonmember avatar Sosorry

I feel awful for this girl and her family. I am in no way shape or for, saying this was her fault but in my community many of my daughters friends, middle school age, have been getting caught having "relationships" with boys, excuse me no, men age 20 and above. With young girls running around like this and flaunting it even to their parents and teachers with no shame I can understand where the judge is coming from. He probably sees many young people like this in his spurt room daily.

nonmember avatar kobekaci

From huff post "Yellowstone County officials agreed to defer Rambold's prosecution for three years and dismiss the charges if he completed a sexual offender treatment program. The case was revived in December after prosecutors learned Rambold, 54, was kicked out of the program for having unsupervised visits with minors who were family members and not telling counselors he was having a sexual relationship with a woman."

So the judge had a chance to send this guy away because he messed up yet AGAIN and he chose to go "lighly" sign petition on change.org

PRIMA487 PRIMA487

Wow!just wow!I don't "see" where the judge is coming from. This judge never even met the girl,he only saw a video tape of her,and he's going to make some bullshit assumption about her "chronological age"?Then there's the rapist himself;he is suppose to be someone a child,yes,a child can trust.He was kicked out a his sex offenders class,but yet the judge thinks he has payed enough because he lost his job,his wife,and his house.Tough shit! And this judge is running for re-election.

Casey Dalbey

This is local to me... this is the same judge and county prosecutors that dropped charges against a women earlier this summer for her 13th DUI. There is something far worse going on than just victim blaming and a rapist getting 30 days for his crime. BTW the first agreement from the prosecutors office was the teacher would not be charged at all if he completed an intense in-patient sexual offender program. The judge is disgusting, but the Yellowstone County attorney's office are right up there in inexcusable actions.

wamom223 wamom223

@Casey Dalbey I really really hope you guys are able to get this dude of the bench.  I heard there is a petition going around to put pressure on him to resign but I think you have to be in his district to sign it. 


This is why you have to be involved in your voting process.  The best thing about voting in WA state is with the mail in ballot you have time to research every candidate and people need to stop thinking their vote doesn't matter.  We vote these guys in and we can get them out.  I feel so bad for this mother that I feel like was just kicked while she was down.  I read this story days ago on a different site and they reported she yelled out something like, "you guys suck."  I wouldn't have been able to stop myself from yelling something much worse. 

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