Target: Chief Justice of Montana Supreme Court Mike McGrath
Goal: Sentence Stacey Dean Rambold to two years in prison for committing rape
Former Montana high school teacher Stacey Dean Rambold has only served thirty-one days in jail after raping a fourteen-year-old girl. In 2010, the rape victim Cherise Morales took her own life, sparking a firestorm of criticism. Citizens of Montana and prosecutors are pushing for an appeal that will place the man back behind bars.
During the trial, Rambold pleaded guilty to three charges of rape in 2008. In Montana, the minimum sentence for this crime is at least two years, but the prosecutors were pushing for a ten year sentence. However, he was sentenced to prison in August, and then released on probation after thirty-one days. The judge of the case is also facing scrutiny, especially after the comments made during the trial. District Judge G. Todd Baugh stated that the teenager “seemed older than her chronological age.” This statement is now being used by prosecutors in the appeals process. The Attorney General Office claims that the sentence Judge Baugh gave did not even meet state’s mandatory minimum sentence.
The judge says that he made a mistake during his ruling. When he tried to revisit the ruling in September, he stated he did not know the minimum sentence requirement for rape was two years. Unfortunately the state Supreme Court did not allow him to revisit the ruling and he did not have the legal right to change it, which forces prosecutors to make an appeal.
It is apparent that this trial was marred with many mistakes and bias, especially on the part of the judge. This lenient sentence has no doubt caused grief for the parents of the victim, and sends the wrong message to the entire nation. If you believe this former high school deserves to be in jail for raping a teenager, sign this petition.
Dear Chief Justice Mike McGarth,
I am writing this letter to express my concern regarding the case between former high school teacher Stacey Dean Rambold and Cherise Morales. I understand that this teacher pleaded guilty to three charges of rape in 2008 and was only in jail for thirty one days. This does not meet the minimum requirement for Montana state law; he should at least be in jail for two years. As the victim took her own life – no doubt because of the trauma of this case – I firmly believe Rambold did not receive proper punishment for his crimes. I also believe the judge was biased in his ruling and severely ignorant of Montana state law. He claims that he did not know the minimum sentence requirement of rape is two years. How can this man be rightly called a judge?
I understand that an appeal is being processed to overturn this ruling and sentence Rambold to at least two years in jail. I support this appeal, as this man has caused far too much harm and heart ache to both the victim and her family.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: KeithBurtis via Flickr