HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's attorney general's office has been unable to find legal grounds to challenge a judge's decision to send a man to jail for 60 days for raping his 12-year-old daughter, state Department of Justice spokesman Eric Sell said Monday.
The amount of time behind bars for the man considered lenient by many is "reprehensible" but that alone was not enough to appeal the Oct. 4 sentence issued by District Judge John McKeon, Sell said.
State law mandates minimum 25-year prison sentences for sexual assaults of victims age 12 or younger.
McKeon gave the man a 30-year prison sentence but suspended all but 60 days.
McKeon said a legal exception allowed the shorter sentence because a court-appointed evaluator said treatment outside of prison was best to rehabilitate the offender while protecting the victim and society.
The Associated Press is not naming the defendant because doing so could identify his daughter.