An ex-teacher was sentenced to and served a month in jail for the rape of a 14-year-old girl. The state of Montana wants that sentence thrown out and seeks a much longer term behind bars.
Prosecutors filed an appeal on Friday questioning the controversial sentence imposed on Stacey Rambold, according to CNN, which noted that both the case and the judge have drawn criticism.
The Helena Independent Record noted that District Judge G. Todd Baugh commented in August that victim Cherice Moralez was "older than her chronological age." Moralez killed herself before the case went to trial.
The judge later apologized and said the comments were based on videotaped interviews with Moralez that have not been publicly released.
The Montana Attorney General's Office’s filing said the sentencing by the district court did not meet the state's mandatory minimum sentence.
"The circumstance of a 47-year-old teacher having sexual intercourse with his 14-year-old student is precisely such a circumstance warranting a mandatory minimum sentence," the court document said.
The brief argues the minimum legal sentence would have been two years in prison. However, prosecutors said the 10-year-prison sentence they had pushed for at trial would still be appropriate.
Baugh also said he made a mistake in his original ruling. He tried to revisit his sentence in September, saying that he did not know that the minimum sentence was two years, but the state Supreme Court barred him from a new ruling, saying he didn't have the legal standing to change a sentence.
Rambold pleaded guilty to the rape. The teenage victim took her own life in 2010.