Judge John McKeon, an Eastern Montana judge who served the 17th Judicial District, announced on Wednesday that he was retiring after serving for over 20 years, KTVQ reports.
McKeon’s retirement comes just one month after offering a controversial sentencing in a rape case. In October, 40-year-old Martin Blake pleaded guilty to raping a 12-year-old girl. Because he pleaded guilty, prosecutors agreed to drop two other charges and suggested he serve 25 years in prison.
However, McKeon gave Blake 60 days in jail “with credit for time served.” The group Justice4Montana immediately called for his impeachment and circulated a Change.org petition to do so.
The group wrote in its petition that McKeon’s sentencing “does not match the crime and fails to acknowledge the horrors the victim had to endure.”
Justice4Montana fought to have McKeon impeached ahead of his official retirement in order to block him from receiving his pension.
Even so, McKeon believed his decision was significant and that it “met the requirement of Montana law.” KTVQ reports that state legislators are working to close the loophole that allowed this sentencing.
On Wednesday, the judge retired with full benefits. No disciplinary action has been taken against McKeon at this time.
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KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT