The man will walk free after admitting to raping his daughter several times.
A Montana judge handed down a shocking sentence earlier this month to a man who admitted to raping his 12-year-old daughter. Though the prosecution had proposed a 100-year sentence, with 25 years to be served right away, Judge John McKeon settled on something much less.
Instead, 40-year-old Martin Blake will serve only 60 days in jail, 17 of which McKeon credited to him because he served those days while awaiting trial. The final sentencing was that he was to spend 43 more days in jail, register as a sex offender, and complete community-based sex offender treatment. Since the sentence was handed down on October 4, as of this writing Blake has less than 30 days left in jail.
Blake was caught sexually assaulting his 12-year-old daughter after her mother walked in on the two. Despite this horrifying act and what she must have witnessed, the mother and the victim’s grandmother wrote to the judge to beg for a lenient sentence. The grandmother said,
“What he (the defendant) did to my granddaughter was horrible, and he should face consequences. And I certainly never want it to happen again to anyone. But his children, especially his sons, will be devastated if their Dad is no longer part of their lives.”
Among those asking that he be subject to treatment rather than prison time were the victim’s mother, grandmother, Blake’s employer, his church, and his friends. This is apparently why Judge McKeon significantly reduced the sentencing. He will also be on probation for 30 years.
The initial sentencing of 100 years (with 75 years to be suspended) was recommended by the prosecution as part of an already lenient plea bargain. In exchange for Blake pleading guilty to one count of incest, the prosecution dropped two other charges of incest. With the plea deal came the sentencing recommendation, which the judge completely ignored, despite verbally acknowledging that no one was present throughout the trial to speak on behalf of the 12-year-old victim.
The community is outraged at the outcome of this trial and is calling for Judge John McKeon’s impeachment as well as a withholding of his retirement funds. He is set to retire this coming November after 22 years, and the people that elected him want to make sure that he doesn’t gain rights to his retirement money after improperly sentencing a dangerous man and letting him out into the community. The petition has reached over 28,000 signatures and can be found here.
In this past year, news of rapists getting extremely light sentences has been going viral as recognition that this is a horrible, increasingly common practice that needs to be stopped. Those running free are typically white males that are also economically comfortable, and the bias in favor of these individuals is unfair to everyone, especially their victims.
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