HELENA, Mont. — A man who admitted to raping his 12-year-old daughter will only spend 60 days in jail for the crime.
Martin Blake, 40, was sentenced on Oct. 13 to 60 days in jail, plus a 30-year suspended prison term, according to the Associated Press. It will also take into account the 17 days that Blake had already served before the sentencing, leaving him with 43 days of jail time.
Deputy Valley County Attorney Dylan Jenson had said during an Oct. 4 sentencing hearing that the “father repeatedly raped his 12-year-old daughter.”
Jenson said there was more than one instance, but the plea agreement stated the other counts would be dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea from Blake, the Glasgow Courier reported. The proposed agreement also recommended Blake would serve 100 years to state prison with 75 of those years suspended.
Jenson wanted Blake to be held accountable for the crime with the appropriate punishment, but Judge John McKeon did not take the recommended 25-year minimum prison sentence.
Blake will be required to meet conditions that include registering as a sex offender, the Glasgow Courier reported. Blake had also lost his job by the time of the sentencing, according to the Glasgow Courier.
McKeon defended his choice to the 40year-old father no prison time to the Associated Press. He said the plea agreement allowed for a lesser prison sentence, depending on the results of a psychosexual evaluation.
He said that evaluation found the defendant could be safely treated and supervised in the community. McKeon also notes the victim’s mother and grandmother asked that the defendant not be sentenced to prison, the Associated Press reported.
However, the sentence angered thousands of people. An online petition on change.org called to impeach McKeon for only giving Blake 60 days of jail time.
“He is just one of many judges who have been caught handing down light sentences to rapists. This must stop and we can only do that by sending a message. It is time to start punishing the judges who let these monsters walk our streets,” the petition stated.
More than 54,000 people have signed the petition as of Thursday.
Jenson said to the Glasgow Courier he was “shocked and disappointed,” but respected the final decision that was made.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.