A Montana judge is under fire after sentencing a Montana rapist to 60 days in jail. According to reports, after repeatedly raping his 12-year-old daughter, the man pleaded guilty to a felony count of incest. Apparently, the prosecution recommended 25 years in prison, as part of a deal that dismissed two more counts of the same crime. However, the judge ruled otherwise.
Instead, District Judge John McKeon imposed a suspended 30-year prison sentence. The suspended sentence will allow the man to get a period of probation. If completed successfully, he will not do time. In addition, the man will serve 60 days in jail. However, the judge credited the man with time served, which means he will only spend another 43 days in jail.
McKeon defended his ruling, by acknowledging the decision and claiming that the sex offender treatment specialist suggested that the man needed rehabilitation and was at low risk to repeat his crime, reports state.
“The sentence may not be a popular decision by certain members of the general public but it is a just and proper decision given the record before the court and the law the court is sworn to uphold,” the judge wrote.
Even the victim’s mother agreed with the ruling, stating her husband, who has been identified as 40-year-old Martin Blake, “made a horrible choice” but 25-years in jail was not the best punishment, CNN reports.
“He needs help,” the mother wrote to the court.”He has two sons that still love him and need their father in their lives, even with very understandable restrictions. I would like to see my children have an opportunity to heal the relationship with their father. Please give him the opportunity to work on fixing the relationships he destroyed. He is not a monster, just a man that really screwed up and has been paying in many ways.”
The victim’s maternal grandmother chimed in as well, writing that the Blake’s “children, especially his sons, will be devastated if their Dad is no longer part of their lives.”
Over 59,000 people have signed a petition to impeach the McKeon. The petition calls for punishment for the judges who pass down light sentences and let rapist roam free.
“This must stop and we can only do that by sending a message,” the petition said.