Posted: Sep 7, 2013 2:17 PM by Lindsey Gordon - MTN News
Updated: Sep 7, 2013 9:41 PM
The Montana Supreme Court granted a petition filed by the state's Attorney General Tim Fox (R) that effectively halted Judge Todd Baugh's hearing to review the legality of a 31 day sentence for rape.
The original sentence was handed down to Stacey Rambold, a former Billings teacher who admitted to having sex with a 14-year-old student.
The judge sentenced Rambold to 31 days in prison with 15 years probation. After reviewing state law, Judge Baugh discovered the sentence was illegal. During the hearing on Friday, his plan was to increase that sentence from 31 days to 2 years.
Fox explains why his office filed the petition:
"The district court's judge does not have the legal opportunity to enter a written judgment that is different from the oral judgment that the court pronounced last week. The court that has the authority to order that the judgment be changed, or be considered to be changed is the Montana Supreme Court," said Fox.
Fox also said that the sentence is illegal because it doesn't meet the statutory minimum under Montana law.
Montana Code Annotated states the mandatory minimum sentence for sexual intercourse without consent is two years, four if the victim is under the age of 16.