Cherice Morales' rape was her fault, at least according to Judge Todd Baugh, 66, who said the 14-year-old freshman was "as much in control of the situation" as the then 49-year-old teacher who admitted to raping her.
Former teacher Stacey Dean Rambold was expected to serve 20 years in jail as part of a deal with prosecutors, yet Yellowstone County District Judge G. Todd Baugh handed him a 30-day sentence, saying the student he raped was "older than her chronological age."
The sentence is less than 1% of the 10 years the prosecutors had demanded.
The Daily Mail reports that Cherice Morales' mother stormed out of the courtroom Monday after the judge announced his ruling.
"You people suck!" she shouted. "Please put him behind bars."
Morales' mother, Auliea Hanlon, testified that her daughter's rape was a "major factor" in the girl's suicide. Morales died just before her 17th birthday, while the case was still pending.
Rambold was charged with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent, and prosecutors alleged he had an ongoing sexual relationship with Morales.
It was later revealed that the school district had warned the teacher not to touch or be alone with female students, as he had been kicked out of a sex offender treatment program.
The school district paid Morales' mother $96,000 as part of a wrongful death settlement.
Attorneys for Rambold said the teacher has lost his job, his license, his house, his wife, and suffered the "scarlet letter of the internet" from the incident. He was "already punished enough," they said, and the Montana judge agreed.
Judge Baugh has been on the bench since 1986. He announced on Aug. 21, 2013, that he is running for reelection to oversee cases in Montana's 13th Judicial District. So far, he is unopposed. If reelected in 2014, he will serve another six-year term.