Tens of thousands of people have called for the impeachment of a Montana judge who sentenced a man to 60 days in jail after he admitted having committed incest with his 12-year-old daughter.
The 40-year-old man would spend just 43 days in jail with credit for time served — even though he could have been sentenced to 25 years under a plea agreement with prosecutors. A 30-year prison sentence was suspended.
A Change.org petition demanding the removal of state 17th District Judge John McKeon, based in northeastern Montana, has recorded hit more than 62,000 signatures.
NBC News isn’t identifying the man because it could identify his daughter. NBC News also isn’t linking to the petition because it names him.
McKeon has defended himself against criticism, saying the plea agreement allowed for a lesser sentence depending on the results of a psychosexual evaluation. He said the evaluation found that the defendant could be safely treated and supervised in the community.
McKeon also has noted that the victim’s mother and grandmother asked that the defendant not be sentenced to prison.
Once the Change.org petition reaches its goal of 75,000 signatures, it will be forwarded to Sens. John Daines and Jon Tester, among others.