A Montana teacher was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison in a notorious student rape case that led to the censure of a judge who partially blamed the victim. Stacey Dean Rambold, 55, was re-sentenced by a new judge exactly a year after he completed an initial one-month prison term for the crime. Rambold appeared to grimace as the sentence was read by Judge Randal Spaulding. He was then handcuffed and led away by deputies, pausing briefly to exchange words with family as he exited the courtroom. Rambold pleaded guilty last year to a single count of sexual intercourse without consent in the 2007 rape of 14-year-old Cherice Moralez, a freshman in his Billings Senior High School business class. She committed suicide in 2010.
The state Supreme Court in April overturned Rambold's initial light sentence, citing in part comments from Judge G. Todd Baugh, who suggested the victim shared responsibility. Baugh was censured and suspended for 31 days. He's stepping down when his terms ends in January. Rambold broke down crying during a brief statement to the court. He said he was sorry for his actions and had worked hard to make himself a better person. In a recent letter to the court, he lamented the international publicity the case attracted. "No one can really appreciate and understand what it feels like to have so many people actually hate you and be disgusted by you," Rambold wrote. "I do not mention this for the sake of sympathy, but it has been hard." (Read more Stacey Rambold stories.)