The mother of a 14-year-old Montana girl who took her own life after being raped by a teacher is speaking out, after the teacher was sentenced to only one month in prison.
Auliea Hanlon told CNN that she felt the sentence was “a joke” and “a travesty” that caused her to lose faith in the American justice system. The judge in the case commented that Hanlon’s daughter seemed older than her chronological age and that she was “as much in control of the situation” as her 49-year-old teacher.
The teacher, Stacey Dean Rambold, was charged with the crime in 2008. As the case worked its way through the court system, the student ended her life in February of 2010 a few weeks before she would have turned 17. Because of the child’s suicide, prosecution against Rambold was deferred, meaning all charges would be dismissed if he successfully completed a treatment program for sex offenders. However, Rambold failed to satisfy the requirements of the program and charges were renewed in late 2012.
Judge G. Todd Baugh said the violations were “technical” and not worth sending the sex offending teacher to prison. He sentenced Rambold to 15 years but suspended all but 31 days of the sentence. Baugh told CNN he felt Rambold was treatable and not a high risk for re-offending. He called the victim “a troubled young girl.”
At least one organization for women is calling for the judge to resign.