Montana Teacher Freed After 30-Day Sentence for Raping Student

The Montana high school teacher who was convicted of raping a student was released from prison on Thursday after serving only one month in jail for the rape of a 14-year-old student. The teenager later killed herself, a corrections department spokeswoman said.

Stacey Rambold, 54, was given the 30-day sentenced by Judge G. Todd Baugh even in light of the suicide of Cherice Moralez in 2010 at the age of 16.

Rambold was released from Montana State Prison about 10 a.m. local time, according to Judy Beck, spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections. He must check in with a probation officer in Billings, and has already been registered as a sex offender.

The public and prosecutors had complained that the sentence was inappropriate and was far below the legal minimum penalty for such a crime, but after an appeal for re-sentencing was denied, Rambold was able to walk free.

Rambold's light sentence enraged the victim's family and the public at large. People demonstrated to show their ire and petitions were circulated, calling for Judge Baugh to resentence Rambold or step down from the bench. Baugh was also under fire for making inappropriate comments about the young victim, Cherice Moralez.

"Mrs. Hanlon," Cherice's mother, "was horribly disappointed with the 30-day sentence and was, frankly, quite shocked," said her attorney Shane Colton. "She's pleased that the county attorney's office and attorney general's office understands that the most significant date to be considered in this sentencing is Cherice's birthday. She was 14."

"Certainly, Auliea will want to try and attend, but it's been a pretty overwhelming week already," Colton added. "She'll have to decide whether she can do that again." She "continues to appreciate the support from the community and from folks all across the nation," he said.