HELENA, Mont. – A judge's decision not to order prison time for a Montana man who raped his 12-year-old daughter has sparked national outrage and a call to close the loophole in state law that allowed for the lenient sentence.
Montana, like many others states, requires a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for anyone convicted of rape, incest or sexual abuse of a child 12 or younger.
But the state law also allows judges to dole out far less punishment if an evaluator determines that ordering sex offender treatment outside prison will rehabilitate the offender and protect the victim and society.
District Judge John McKeon ordered the father to spend 60 days in jail and suspended a 30-year prison sentence.
A commission studying Montana's sentencing laws is recommending the legislature eliminate the loophole that allowed for the lesser punishment in this case.