A judge has handed down a 30-year suspended sentence to a Montana man after he pleaded guilty to raping his 12-year-old daughter.
District Judge John McKeon sentenced the man to 60 days in jail for incest, including 17 days time served, the Associated Press reported.
He was also ordered to undergo community-based sex-offender treatment and register as a sex offender.
The AP did not name the man to avoid identifying a victim of sexual assault.
Prosecutor Dylan Jensen recommended a 100-year jail sentence with 75 years suspended, the recommended sentence under state law, as part of a plea deal that dropped two other incest charges.
“A father repeatedly raped his 12-year-old daughter,” Jensen said during the Oct. 4 sentencing hearing.
A social worker testifying on the man’s behalf said he is a low-risk to re-offend and said that social support is necessary for him while he receives treatment, since he lost his social support when he lost his job and family.
The girl’s mother walked in on one of the sexual assaults, according to court records.
Public defender Casey Moore argued for community-based punishment as well, saying that there are other ways to hold someone accountable other than a lengthy jail sentence.
“I’m not asking that he be given a slap on the wrist,” Moore said. “He did spend 17 days in jail and he did lose his job,” and will be on supervision for the rest of his life.
McKeon said he decided not to go with the recommended sentence because the man had support from his family, the girl’s mother and grandmother, friends, church, and his employer.
Jensen said he disagreed with the sentence, but respected the judge’s decision.
McKeon is retiring next month after 22 years of serving as a state judge.