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Montana Supreme Court takes America in the right direction

On May 1, 2014

The Montana Supreme Court overturned a one-month sentence Wednesday for a former high school teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old student. The court ordered a new judge to re-sentence the defendant, Stacey Dean Rambold, who has been free since completing the previous term last fall, according to an article by the Associated Press.The court said District Court Judge G. Todd Baugh erred when he sentenced Rambold to one month in prison, a sentence that has been widely condemned as too lenient.You think?Baugh suggested the victim, Cherice Moralez, shared responsibility for her rape because she had some control over the situation and was “older than her chronological age.”Moralez committed suicide in 2010 before Rambold went to trial. Sure sounds like a girl who was in control of the situation.Rambold went before Baugh in August after he violated a deferred-prosecution agreement after getting kicked out of a sex-offender treatment program. Baugh appeared to have sympathy for Rambold and sentenced him to a 15-year sentence with all but one month suspended.Montana prosecutors said Rambold should serve a minimum of two years under state law.While nothing can bring back Moralez and change the heinous acts committed against her, the Montana Supreme Court should be applauded for adding to Rambold’s sentence and trying to put an end to victim shaming. The next step is disciplinary actions against Baugh by removing him from the bench for alleged bias. The complaint from the Judicial Standards Commission is pending with the state Supreme Court.As women across the country take to the nation’s capitol to promote legislation to help end sexual assault on college campuses, America seems to be heading in the right direction in its attitude toward victims of sexual assault. The attitude that a 14-year-old can be responsible for her teacher raping her is ludicrous and victim shaming needs to become a thing of the past.

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