Outrage Builds Over 30-Day Jail Sentence For Teacher Who Raped Student

Outrage Builds Over 30-Day Jail Sentence For Teacher Who Raped StudentHundreds of protesters are expected to converge at the Billings, Montana, county courthouse Thursday, to express their outrage over what they call a lenient sentence for a man who admitted raping a 14-year-old girl.

‘Committed suicide’

The case began in 2008 when the teen was a student at Billings Senior High School and Stacey Dean Rambold was a teacher. She was 14 at the time; he was 49. The mother, Auliea Hanlon, claims Rambold’s “pre-sexual grooming” of her daughter led to the pair having sex.

School officials learned of the relationship, and Rambold resigned. Later that year, authorities charged Rambold with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent. As the case wound its way through the legal system, the girl committed suicide. She was a few weeks shy of her 17th birthday. Hanlon told CNN the relationship was to blame for her daughter’s death.

With the teen’s death, the prosecution entered into what is known as a “deferred prosecution agreement” with Rambold. This meant that all charges against Rambold would be dismissed if he completed a sex offender treatment program and met other requirements. But Rambold fell short of the agreement. As a result, the case was revived in December 2012.


‘Troubled young girl’

Yellowstone County District Judge G. Todd Baugh ruled that Rambold’s infractions weren’t serious enough. He sentenced Rambold to 15 years in prison. Then, he suspended all but 31 days of the sentence, according to the Yellowstone County District Court. In addition, the judge gave him credit for one day he spent in jail.

“She seemed older than her chronological age,” he said. “Basically what we had was a troubled young girl.” He added, “I simply did not have the evidence to conclude that her taking her life was because of her sexual offense by Mr. Rambold.”

The Montana Organization of Women started a petition calling on the judge to resign.

Do you approve of the 30-day jail sentence for Stacey Dean Rambold? Who is to blame for the suicide of the teen victim?

Source: Paul Vercammen | CNN

Image: Billings Gazette

Europe Angered By News Of NSA Spying On EU Offices

Europe Angered By News Of NSA Spying On EU OfficesEuropean officials reacted with fury Sunday to a report that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on EU offices. The European Union warned that if the report is accurate, it will have tremendous repercussions.

‘Electronic eavesdropping operation’

The outrage from European officials over the weekend was the latest fallout since Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency computer contractor, started spilling details of U.S. surveillance programs to reporters earlier this month.

Citing information from secret documents obtained by Snowden, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported Sunday that several U.S. spying operations targeted European Union leaders. Der Spiegel said it had “in part seen” documents from Snowden that describe how the National Security Agency bugged EU officials’ Washington and New York offices and conducted an “electronic eavesdropping operation” that tapped into a EU building in Brussels, Belgium.


‘Seeking asylum’

The Guardian newspaper reported that one NSA document leaked by Snowden describes 38 embassies and missions as “targets” and details surveillance methods that include planting bugs in communications equipment and collecting transmissions with specialized antennae. Targets included France, Italy, Greece, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Turkey, according to The Guardian.

Snowden has revealed himself as the source of documents outlining a massive effort by the NSA to track cell phone calls and monitor the e-mail and Internet traffic of virtually all Americans. Critics slam him as a traitor. Supporters hail him as a hero. Now Snowden, who faces espionage charges in the United States, is in Russia and seeking asylum from Ecuador.

Do you believe the NSA was really spying on EU offices? What impact could this report have on the relations between the U.S. and Europe?

Source: Josh Levs and Catherine E. Shoichet | CNN

Image: International Business Times