Judge requests new hearing - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Judge Requests New Hearing

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BILLINGS -

A sentence handed out by a Billings judge in a rape case drew national outrage.

Judge G. Todd Baugh ordered Stacey Rambold, the former Billings Senior High teacher who admitted to having sexual contact with a 14-year-old student, to 30 days in prison for breaking terms of his plea agreement. On Tuesday, the Judge said the sentence he imposed may have been illegal.

According to a court document, Judge G. Todd Baugh said Stacey Rambold's mandatory minimum sentencing should have been set at two years, not 30 days. Judge Baugh said Stacey Rambold's memorandum cited 30 days as the mandatory minimum amount of jail time, but after the court reviewed Montana Code Judge Baugh said the county attorneys did not object or inform the court of the applicable mandatory minimum. Judge Baugh said imposing a sentence with less than the mandatory minimum is illegal. So, the judge has ordered a new hearing for Stacey Rambold on Friday afternoon to likely impose a stricter sentence.

County Attorney Scott Twito and Montana criminal attorneys say a judge's oral pronouncement is typically deemed as final. So, even though the judge assigned the wrong sentence, the legality of him re sentencing Rambold to more time in prison could be in question.