“This one is hard to read and write. And like many, I’m taken with disbelief.” - Leslie Salzillo
A 40-year-old Glasgow, Montana man named Martin Blake was charged with three counts of rape and incest, admitted it, was convicted for one rape, pleaded out of a 100 year-sentence to receive 30 years, which are all suspended, and got 60 days in a jail (less 17 days already served).
The Glasgow Courier reports that after two hours of testimony and arguments, Judge John C. McKeon felt the hardship of 60 days in a county jail and having to register as a sex offender was enough for a man who raped a mere child multiple times.
Licensed clinical social worker Michael Sullivan testified that Blake would benefit from community-based sex-offender treatment. Sullivan added it would be important for Blake to receive social support during his treatment because Blake had suffered “collapse of social support” after losing his job and family. He is living with his mother who supports him. No mention of support by the child will, all her life, live with the fact she is a rape victim and her father was the rapist.
Arguments by the public defender Casey Moore said Blake honestly admitted his crimes. But then, the girl’s mother walked in during one rape. You’re caught in the act and deemed honest because you admit your crime? Moore added:
“He did spend 17 days in jail, and he did lose his job … For the most part, he will be on supervision for the rest of his life.”
Oh, well then. Losing a job and some days in jail should be enough punishment for a rapist and enough redemption for a child who has to live knowing her father raped her—most likely wondering if it was her fault for the rest of her life.
The prosecuting attorney for the case Dylan Jensen fought for the victim and said Blake “repeatedly raped his daughter” and needed to be held accountable and receive substantial punishment for his actions. What happened then? Judge McKeon stated he was bothered that Jenson brought up multiple incidents of incest, given the sentencing was for only one count of incest. Exhale.
As news of this story gets out, more of the public is becoming outraged. A petition demanding Judge McKeon lose his job, been created and has garnered close to 15,000 signatures thus far.
It’s as if I’m dreaming, then wake up thinking, “Once again I’m working in my sleep—glad it was just a dream.” But it’s real. This is America. And when rapists continuously go free as with Stanford rapist Brock Turner, and we have a bragging sexual assaulter and alleged child rapist like Republican nominee Donald Trump one step of becoming president, we are a nation sick. Rape culture needs to be continuously exposed and part of our national discourse until it stops.
Being a multiple rape survivor, I am triggered by this story on so many levels and it has been extremely difficult to write. My rapes occurred over 30 years ago and I didn’t seek support until 20 years after when I was put in touch with a rape crisis center after a PTSD episode. I received amazing support and have healed. I can’t imagine how a story like this is affecting rape victims is living with the horror of violations against them want them to know help is out there. And I hope the current national discourse inspires them to finally seek help.
If you or someone you know has ever been a victim of rape/sexual assault, you are not alone and it’s never too late to seek help. You can find free support via the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (4673) and/or by visiting the Rape, Abuse Incest National Network/online.RAINN.org. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. You do not have to live with guilt and shame. You are not alone. It’s #NotYourFault.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: We thought for a long time before deciding to publish Salzillo’s article; but finally decided this sordid kind of “justice” deserves the widest dissemination possible. The article has been reprinted in Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism, Pro-Feminist Issues, Ideas & Activism, and Daily Kos. It has been a major subject of discussion Twitter. It is reprinted here under the general guidelines and permission of Daily Kos. We appreciate any appropriate comments, which can be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org]