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SD2 settles with rape victim's family for $91K

2012-10-31T09:54:00Z SD2 settles with rape victim's family for $91KBy Rob Rogers Billings Gazette Helena Independent Record
October 31, 2012 9:54 am  • 

BILLINGS -- School District 2 and its insurance carrier will pay just under $91,000 to the family of Cherice Moralez, a Senior High student who committed suicide in 2010 after her former teacher was charged with raping her.

Senior High business and technology teacher Stacey Rambold was charged in October 2008 with three felony counts of sexual intercourse without consent. Moralez had confessed to a church leader earlier that year that she had been sleeping with her teacher. That launched an investigation that ultimately led to Rambold's resignation from the district and his arrest.

Moralez killed herself Feb. 6, 2010, less than three weeks shy of her 17th birthday.

Under the terms of the settlement, $61,000 will be paid as a lump sum to the family and another $29,926 will be divided among Moralez's three siblings. In agreeing to the settlement, the family releases the school district of any further liability.

SD2 agreed in the settlement that the family had suffered emotional distress "arising out of alleged improper hiring/supervision of teacher Stacey Rambold."

The lawsuit was filed by Auliea Hanlon, Moralez's mother.

SD2's insurance carrier, American Zurich, paid the settlement on Monday. Earlier this summer the SD2 board approved a payment of $15,000 for a deductible to the insurance company to settle the case.

After Moralez’s death in 2010, Rambold and prosecutors resolved the criminal case through a deferred prosecution agreement. The agreement reached in July 2010 states the case would be dismissed in three years if Rambold completed sex-offender treatment and adhered to other requirements during that period.

As part of the agreement, Rambold made a written confession to one of the felony charges.

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