Martin Blake of Glasgow, Montana, was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison for one count of felony incest. All thirty years will be suspended, by order of his Valley County District Court judge John C. McKeon.
The Glasgow Courier reports that the prosecutor Dylan Jensen had originally asked for 100 years, with 75 suspended. The sentencing was a part of a plea deal with Blake, in which he admitted to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl one time, but he was originally arrested for more than one assault on the same victim.
During sentencing, Blake’s Public Defender Casey Moore argued that his client would be a good candidate for a community-based treatment program, as he had the support of his mother and family, was employed and attended church, which makes him lower risk for repeat offenses. In a bit of a contradiction, Moore added, “I’m not asking that he be given a slap on the wrist...He did spend 17 days in jail, and he did lose his job.”
Judge McKeon decided not to follow the prosecution’s recommendation of a minimum 25 years in jail, citing the family support, including letters from the victim’s mother and grandmother, asking for Blake to remain in the community. Though the victim is unnamed, the count of “felony incest” implies they may have some relation to the perpetrator.
KRTV reports that the sentence has sparked outrage, and a petition is being circulated to have Judge McKeon impeached. However, according to the Havre Daily News, Mckeon plans to retire in November after 22 years on the bench, so it is unlikely any of his coming sentencing decisions will be influenced by public opinion.