National briefs: Montana prosecutor to appeal teacher’s 31-day sentencing

August 30, 2013
California
Beleaguered mayor leaves office

Bob Filner ended his brief but tumultuous tenure as San Diego’s mayor Friday amid allegations that he sexually harassed women, making no public appearances on a final day that came one week after a defiant farewell speech in which the onetime civil rights activist called himself the victim of a “lynch mob.”

Employees in the City Hall lobby said they did not see the 70-year-old mayor, a former 10-term congressman, on his last day.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said Filner’s last act as mayor was to halt a controversial remodeling of a neighborhood Jack in the Box restaurant. Gloria immediately overturned the decision, saying it exposed the city to litigation.

At a news conference, attorney Gloria Allred displayed a farewell card that said she looked forward to seeing Filner at a deposition in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson — the first of nearly 20 women to identify herself as a target of the mayor’s unwanted advances. She is the only one who has sued Filner.

The California attorney general’s office has launched a criminal investigation of Filner, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has been interviewing his accusers and will deliver its findings to the attorney general’s office for possible prosecution.

— Associated Press

Montana
State to appeal teacher’s sentencing

A Montana prosecutor said on Friday that he intended to appeal as too lenient a 31-day sentence for a former teacher who raped a teenage student who later committed suicide.

District Judge G. Todd Baugh has come under harsh criticism since sentencing former Billings high school teacher Stacey Rambold on Monday to 15 years in prison, then suspending all but 31 days of that term, for the 2007 rape of 14-year-old Cherice Moralez. Before handing down the sentence, Baugh said that Moralez, who committed suicide in 2010, was “probably as much in control of the situation” as Rambold.

Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said that Baugh, who has since apologized for his remarks, probably erred by misapplying state criminal codes and sentencing recommendations that would have required a minimum of two years in jail.

— Reuters

Child’s joyride in Arizona ends tragically: A 911 call released Friday provides a dramatic account of a tragic joyride by an 8-year-old boy in his mother’s car as he swerved through trafficand slammed into a light pole, killing his 6-year-old sister. The caller followed the car up and down a main Phoenix road before it crashed, causing minor injuries to the 8-year-old driver. At about the same time, the children’s mother called 911 in a panic to report someone had taken her two older children and her car was gone. Phoenix police said the children’s mother is unlikely to face charges in the Wednesday night crash.

— From news services

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