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Montana teacher gets 30 days in rape of student, 14, who takes her own life

Protests are planned for Thursday

CNN News Wire | 8/29/2013, midnight
Auliea Hanlon is outraged that a Montana high school teacher who admitted to raping her 14-year-old daughter received only a month in prison, while her daughter took her own life. KTVQ

Rambold admitted to one of the rape charges.

But Rambold fell short of the agreement.

“He had some contacts with nieces and nephews in a family setting and other adults were present,” Baugh said.

He also had relationships with women that he didn’t tell his counselors about.

“That is a violation from his deferred prosecution so he was dropped from the plan.”

As a result, the case was revived in December 2012.

The hearing

At a hearing Monday, prosecutors asked the judge to send Rambold away for 20 years.

The defense argued that Rambold has suffered enough. His lawyers said he lost his career and his marriage and has the “scarlet letter of the Internet” due to the publicity surrounding the case, the Billings Gazette reported.

Baugh ruled that Rambold’s infractions weren’t serious enough.

“He made some violations of his treatment program,” he said. “They were more technical and not the kind you would send someone to prison for.”

He sentenced Rambold to 15 years in prison. Then, he suspended all but 31 days of the sentence, according to the Yellowstone County District Court.

In addition, the judge gave him credit for one day he spent in jail.

Incredulous at what had happened, Hanlon shouted at the court, “You people suck.”

“She wasn’t even old enough to get a driver’s license,” Hanlon said in a statement released by her attorney. “But Judge Baugh, who never met our daughter, justified the paltry sentence saying she was older than her chronological age. I guess somehow it makes a rape more acceptable if you blame the victim, even if she was only 14.”

Baugh has defended his ruling. He told CNN he believes Rambold is “treatable” and a “low risk to re-offend.”

Two videotaped interviews with the teenager — one with the police department and one with the defense attorney — were played in court, he said.

“She seemed older than her chronological age,” he said. “Basically what we had was a troubled young girl.”

He added, “I simply did not have the evidence to conclude that her taking her life was because of her sexual offense by Mr. Rambold.”

The Montana Organization of Women started a petition calling on the judge to resign.

“It’s outlandish in a way that I cannot describe,” HLN’s Drew Pinsky told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.” “It’ is the most outlandish thing that I’ve ever heard of.”

CNN’s Miguel Marquez contributed to this report.

Paul Vercammen | CNN