Valley County, Montana
Leniency outcry: A campaign has been launched in Montana for the dismissal of a judge who sentenced a child rapist to just 60 days in prison. Under the terms of a plea deal, the defendant, who had repeatedly raped his 12-year-old daughter, was going to serve 25 years behind bars. But Justice John McKeon decided to set this aside, and handed down the far lower term, citing letters from the victim’s mother and grandmother pleading for clemency. McKeon is the latest in a series of judges to face an internet-driven backlash against sentencing perceived as too lenient. This one is unlikely to be successful, however, as the judge is due to retire within weeks. In contrast to the Montana case, a judge in Fresno, California, last week sentenced a man to 1,503 years in prison for raping his daughter 186 times. Rene Lopez, 41, had declined a plea deal term of 13 years.