The judge who sentenced Rambold said the girl, who later killed herself, was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as the teacher.
Yellowstone County District Judge G. Todd Baugh suspended all but 31 days of the 15-year sentence. He also gave Rambold credit for one day already served.
The student’s mother, Auliea Hanlon, had testified that the rape was a “major factor” in her daughter’s suicide. She begged the judge to put Rambold behind bars. The girl’s mother repeatedly screamed, “You people suck” as she left the courtroom on Monday.
Rambold was charged with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent in 2008. About two years later, Morales took her own life just weeks before her 17th birthday. Her death caused trouble for prosecutors, who agreed to dismiss the charges against Rambold if he completed a sex offender treatment program.
The case resumed this year after prosecutors learned that Rambold had been terminated from the sex offender treatment program. He pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual intercourse without consent in April.
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