Pedophile Who Raped Own Daughter Set Free by Judge: 'Prison Would be Unfair'
Admitted to raping 12-year-old child but judge ruled he 'didn't need prison'
After a pedophile pleaded guilty in court to raping his own 12-year-old daughter, a judge overturned his 25-year jail sentence, agreed to in a plea deal, and set him free saying that "prison would be unfair".
40-year-old Martin Blake's lawyers had negotiated a plea deal with prosecutors, that meant he would serve a minimum of 25 years behind bars for incest rape, but Judge John C. McKeon stunned the court with a complete U-turn on the "unfair" sentence and let him go free, saying:
"I do not feel 25 years in prison is necessarily the best way for the defendant to pay for what he has done.
"The defendant made a horrible choice. He needs help – not to spend 25 years locked up."
Blake from Glasgow, Montana, walked free from the Valley County District Court, despite pleading guilty to sexually assaulting the child, on a 30-year probation.
Judge McKeon told Blake he will be placed on the sex offenders register and will have his internet access limited, but made no mention of limiting contact with his own children.
The family of Blake's victim, his own 12-year-old daughter, say they now "live in fear" for their safety as he still has legal rights to see his children, including his two other sons.
According to Daily Mail, Blake originally faced multiple charges of incest rape but agreed to admit to just one as part of his plea deal.
Prosecutors had initially suggested he face 100 years imprisonment for his crimes.
The girl's grandmother said he ought to be spared jail in order not to impact his other children's lives.
''What he (the defendant) did to my granddaughter was horrible, and he should face consequences. And I certainly never want it to happen again to anyone."
Judge McKeon ordered him to 30 years imprisonment with all 30 suspended and told him to register as a sex offender.
The decision sparked outrage among local residents, hundreds of whom have signed a petition calling to have the judge stood down before his retirement in November.
He retaliated with a lengthy statement, insisting that Blake's community sentence was appropriate and safe:
"The plea agreement and the presentence investigation report contain detailed recommendations for assuring this safety, all of which were incorporated into the Court sentencing."
As part of his conditions, Blake must hold a job and will not be allowed to come into contact with anyone under the age of 18 without the prior approval of his probation officers and treatment providers.
He will have limited access to the internet and be given no access to sexual materials.