A Montana judge under fire for comments about a 14-year-old victim in a school rape case has ordered a new sentencing hearing for the former teacher who got 30 days in prison for the crime, reports the Associated Press. Setting the hearing for Friday, Judge G. Todd Baugh said state law appears to require a two-year mandatory minimum prison term for Stacey Rambold, 54, of Billings.
Rambold began serving his month-long state prison term last week. Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said Baugh may lack authority to impose a longer sentence at this point because state law says an illegal sentence must be handled through the appeal process. The judge has faced widespread condemnation from women’s rights activists, elected officials, and others for the light sentence and for saying Rambold’s 14-year-old victim, Cherise Moralez, was “older than her chronological age” and asserting that she had some control over her months-long relationship with Rambold. The judge apologized for his comments, but activists called for him to resign.