Outrage ensues as a District Court judge gave a man convicted of raping a 12-year-old child a suspended sentence.
Martin Joseph Blake will serve just 60 days in jail, with credit for the 17 days he has already served, after admitting to raping a 12-year-old girl.
Judge John C. McKeon ignored the plea deal put forward by the defendant’s lawyers – which would have seen Blake serve 25 years in jail on an 100-year sentence, with 75 years suspended.
Instead the judge – who has been branded a ‘rapist and paedophile sympathiser’ – handed out the suspended sentence citing Blake’s remorse as his reason for leniency, reports the Independent.
Blake’s Public Defender Casey Moore put forward the argument that Blake would benefit from a community-based rehabilitation programme, which apparently convinced McKeon that the rapist was an exception to the punishment we have come to expect for such atrocious crimes.
The judge added that Blake’s support network – friends, family, his Church and his employer – served as reassurance that Blake would not offend again.
Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen told the Glasgow Courier:
I was shocked and disappointed, but I respect the judge’s decision.
Meanwhile the public has expressed shock and outrage now that Blake will walk free in a matter of months.
— Gab.RadioInfidelShow (@RadioInfidelSho) October 17, 2016
— David Henry Sterry (@Sterryhead) October 15, 2016
Change.org has now started a petition to have the Judge impeached for his worryingly lax approach to punishing the convicted rapist.
The petition has already received nearly 12,000 signatures at the time of writing, which is well over half of its required 15,000 signatures.
Blake’s sentence was handed down just days after the hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport was trending on Twitter, with an outpouring of people coming forward and claiming their sexual abusers were not bought to justice.
#WhyWomenDontReport: Because we face a justice system that doesn’t protect us and a culture that doesn't believe us.
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) October 13, 2016
To think this young, vulnerable girl was victimised in such an abhorrent way by a man who will walk free in the eyes of the American justice system is sickening, and gives a new poignancy to the fear felt by even strong, adult women in the face of sexual abuse.
We need to change the heinous discourse that excuses sexual predators, paedophiles and abusers like Blake so this type of terrible injustice doesn’t happen again.