8-29-13 – RIP Cherice Morales, 17, who took her own life in February 2010 while the following case was pending.
READ THE ARTICLE – Video also included.
Directly from National Voices for Equality Education & Enlightenment
“This is one of those cases where we should sit back and question the letter of the law. A Senior High School teacher who pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old student, who later killed herself, has been sentenced to 30 days in jail by a judge who said the victim was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as the teacher. Really? Really? Are you kidding?!?!?!” ~~~ Jowharah Sanders, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO!
She was a MINOR! This EXPERIENCE led her to KILL HERSELF and the judge is putting partial blame on HER?
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, District Judge G. Todd Baugh, for putting a child abuser back into our community.
Here is a chronology of events from dailymail.co.uk:
- Cherice Morales was a troubled 14-year-old high school freshman when teacher Stacey Dean Rambold, then 49, groomed her for sex
- Cherice killed herself at 17 while the case was pending and her mother says the sex abuse by the teacher was ‘a major factor’ in her suicide
- Rambold entered a sex offender treatment program, but was kicked out after having unsupervised visits with minors
- Judge Todd Baugh disagreed with the prosecution of Rambold and handed out a 30 day sentence
- Prosecutors had asked for 10 years
- Judge, 66, announced he is running for re-election and is so far unopposed.
HERE IS WHAT I WANT TO KNOW.
What was Baugh’s reasoning that a 14-year-old girl below the state’s age of consent had an equal share of control of the relationship?
“The judge’s reasons are his reasons and his reasons alone. He has broad authority under state law, given the proper criteria,” as Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said.
THIS IS NOT ENOUGH!
While the judge said he listened to statements given by Morales before her death and believed that while she was a troubled youth, she was “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold and was “older than her chronological age.” SERIOUSLY? Since WHEN may a 14-year-old “groomed” by the teacher for sex, able to CONSENT??
Baugh further stated that “he was not convinced that the reasons for Rambold’s termination from treatment were serious enough to warrant the 10-year prison term prosecutors recommended”.
The school district had warned Rambold four years earlier to avoid touching or being alone with female students, it was later revealed. AND THIS WAS NOT A WARNING SIGN?
Montana District Court Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Stacey Dean Rambold to 15 years in prison for sexual intercourse without consent, with all but 31 days suspended. He gave Rambold credit for one day already served.
Judge Baugh announced on Monday that Cherice Morales seemed just as responsible for a sexual relationship with her teacher Stacey Dean Rambold as the teacher was – even though Cherice was troubled and only 14 at the time. He also pronounced that the girl, who killed herself two years later, appeared to be ‘older than her chronological age.’
AGAIN – WHAT was this judge THINKING! 15 years reduced to 30 days? AND a credit for 1 day served??
SERIOUSLY – A 14–YEAR-OLD WAS DEEMED “”older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” AS THE TEACHER?!
This is why our juvenile justice system is so ineffective and the laughing stock of the country.
P.S. County Attorney Twito told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he would not appeal the judge’s sentence.
P.P.S. The school district paid Cherice’s mother $96,000 as part of a wrongful death settlement. NICE TO KNOW THAT IS THE GOING RATE FOR THIS CRIME.
SMH – there HAD to be something more to this; however, a VICTIM should not be further penalized by the system – she obviously was traumatized and I believe the judge and the perpetrator are responsible for this verdict and her suicide. Personal Opinion.