Montana man found guilty of raping 12-year-old daughter walks away with 60 days in jail

If you thought the light sentencing of Brock Turner was terrible, get a load of this Montana man who raped his daughter and got just 60 days in jail. Yes, let that soak in a little bit. The 40 year old, who isn’t being named in the press to protect the identity of his victim, repeatedly raped his 12-year-old daughter and got off with a suspended sentence that might mean he spends 43 more days in jail — total. It’s a little complicated, so sit tight.

Prosecutors recommended a mandatory 25-year sentence, 100 years with 75 suspended, which is what state law calls for. Judge John McKeon in Glasgow County, Montana handed the man a 30-year suspended prison sentence instead, which means he will only serve prison time if he doesn’t meet the terms of his probation. The 60 days is an additional term the man will serve in jail, but since he’s already been behind bars for 17 days, he only has 43 left. So, he’ll do 43 days and then be let out on probation, and then, depending on his behavior, may or may not go to prison.

Already, 50,000 people who have signed a Change.org petition to impeach Judge McKeon before he retires and ask the state Judicial Standards Commission to review the case.

The terms of his probation are “quite rigorous,” according to Judge McKeon. The man has to register as a sex offender and he cannot access porn, in addition to other limits on his internet use. That doesn’t really sound all that rigorous, but maybe things are different in Montana.

The man’s defense, which Judge McKeon obviously bought, is that it was really hard to deal with the “collapse of social support” and losing his job after the news broke that he repeatedly raped his daughter and that he would get better with treatment.

A clinical social worker testified after a psychosexual evaluation of the man that there was a low risk for recidivism and that the defendant could benefit from treatment and support, which the judge didn’t challenge when it came down to sentencing. The man also testified that he was living with his mother and attended church. His mother testified that her son was “welcome” at her home. All of this went into his sentencing, according to Judge McKeon. McKeon responded to outrage about his sentencing by saying that there is an exception in Montana law that allowed him to sentence the man to treatment instead of prison because it“affords a better opportunity for rehabilitation of the offender and for the ultimate protection of the victim and society.” Hmm, I wonder when that law was written.

The victim’s mother wrote a letter to the judge saying that what he did was “horrible,” but that she wants her children to “have an opportunity to heal the relationship with their father.” According to court records, the mother actually walked in on one of the assaults. The victim’s grandmother, in addition to welcoming her son into her home (instead of letting him sleep under the same roof as the victim) also testified that his other children would be “devastated” without him. According to the Associated Press, no one spoke or testified on behalf of the victim.

It looks like the concept of protecting the man and stigmatizing the female victim is baked into Montana law and culture. If you need to see how ingrained rape culture is, this is the case to look at. A man repeatedly raped his daughter and the mother, grandmother, and the courts think he just needs a little community support. Nah.