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Ex-teacher ends 30-day sentence in rape of teen student in Montana

| Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 8:45 p.m.

BILLINGS, Mont. — A former Montana high school teacher was released from prison on Thursday upon completing a 30-day sentence for raping a 14-year-old student, a term that is under review by the state's high court and spurred critics to call for the removal of the judge who handled the case.

Stacey Rambold, 54, left the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge after serving the sentence handed down by District Judge G. Todd Baugh for the 2007 rape of Cherice Moralez.

The judge drew outrage last month over the sentence's leniency and comments he made that appeared to pin some of the blame on Moralez.

The teenager committed suicide in 2010 before Rambold went to trial.

State prosecutors are appealing the sentence, saying Rambold should have received a minimum of two years. But barring new offenses, the former teacher has served his time and will stay out of prison pending the appeal.

Rambold was picked up at the prison by a family member Thursday morning and returned to Billings, where he was seen later in the day reporting to a state probation office.

He's been registered as a level 1 sex offender — meaning he's considered a low risk to re-offend— and will remain on probation through 2028 unless the original sentence is overruled.

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