A Montana judge is receiving heavy backlash after he sentenced a man to just 60 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping his 12-year-old daughter. Since the sentencing went public, a petition swept the internet in an effort to get District Judge John McKeon impeached (it currently has more than 20,000 signatures), but he’s sticking by his decision. In a statement released earlier today, McKeon describes how and why he came to the decision that gave a man (who remains nameless in order to protect the victim) even more lenience than Standford rapist Brock Turner.
According to TIME, in an email sent to the Associated Press, McKeon explains that the Montana state law “permits exceptions to the mandatory 25-year sentence for incest with a child, in cases where psychological evaluations find that treatment would afford ‘better opportunity for rehabilitation of the offender and for the ultimate protection of the victim and society.'” He also wrote that this is of one of the state’s attempts “to encourage and provide opportunities for an offender’s self-improvement, rehabilitation and reintegration back into a community.”
Along with his incredibly short sentencing, the man will be forced to register as a sex offender and receive treatment. He will also be forced to get approval from his probation officer and doctors before contacting the victim or any other minor around him, and his access to the internet will be limited (in short: he won’t be able to access any pornographic websites). If he fails to meet these probation requirements, he will have to serve a 30-year sentence.
Of course, due to the heinousness of the crime, the sentencing sparked major objections. But perhaps the grossest part of this entire case is the reactions of the victim’s mother and grandmother’s; they both wrote letters to the court asking for the man not to be given a prison sentence.
From the Washington Post,
The victim’s mother, who walked in on the man sexually abusing her daughter, wrote that the man’s two sons love him and she wanted his “children have an opportunity to heal the relationship with their father,” according to McKeon.
The victim’s grandmother echoed this, calling the man’s behavior “horrible” but stating that the man’s children, “especially his sons, will be devastated if their Dad is no longer part of their lives.”
Why the hell would you ever want your kids around someone like that?
If the petition gets 25,000 signatures, it will be presented to the chief clerk of the Montana House of Representatives. While McKeon is planning to retire next month, the petition also asks that he not receive his retirement money. “He did not take care of us,” the petition reads. “We should not have to take care of him.”
We couldn’t agree more. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.