Martin Blake’s case originally gained notoriety when he was given no prison time after being convicted on one charge of “felony incest.” It turns out the 12-year-old he admitted to raping is his own daughter, and her mother and grandmother have campaigned to reintegrate him into their community.
Blake served 60 days in jail for his crime, before Judge John McKeon sentenced him to a 30-year suspended prison term. The prosecutors in the case recommended a mandatory 25-year sentence, 100 years with 75 suspended, in their plea agreement. 25 years is the mandatory sentence in Montana, but The Washington Post reports that McKeon defended his decision by stating there’s a loophole for those arrested for incest involving someone under 12 years old. If a psychosexual evaluation determines psychiatric treatment “affords a better opportunity for rehabilitation of the offender and for the ultimate protection of the victim and society,” they can avoid prison time.
CNN reports that the victim’s mother and grandmother wrote letters in support of Blake, urging McKeon to allow him to rejoin the family. The victim’s mother wrote that Blake had “made a horrible choice,” but prison time would disrupt their family further:
“He needs help,” she wrote 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 grandmother wrote that the “children, especially his sons, will be devastated if their dad is no longer part of their lives.”