UPDATE: Judge who gave suspended sentence for incest speaks out - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Judge who gave suspended sentence for incest speaks out

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(AP and NBC) -

An eastern Montana judge who has been criticized for handing down a 30-year suspended prison sentence in an incest case is defending his decision.

District Judge John McKeon on Friday said Valley County prosecutors did not challenge a psychosexual evaluation that said the 40-year-old defendant could be safely treated and supervised in the community.

The plea agreement that recommended at least a 25-year prison sentence allowed for a lesser sentence depending on the results of the evaluation.

McKeon also noted the victim's mother and grandmother wrote letters asking that he not be sentenced to prison. Nobody spoke on behalf of the 12-year-old girl during the sentencing hearing.

The Associated Press is not naming the defendant to avoid identifying the victim.

Criticism of the sentence has come down on social media. An online petition suggesting McKeon be impeached had gathered more than 4,000 signatures by Friday afternoon.

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