2011-09-15 / Front Page

Keebaugh Pleads “No Contest’’ To Rape Charge

Additional cases involving assault of two juvenile girls withdrawn
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz
STAFF WRITER


L.D. Keebaugh Jr. L.D. Keebaugh Jr. Two months after his arrest for a sex crime dating back to February 1998, a Harrisonville area man has entered a plea to rape and aggravated indecent assault, while two additional indecent assault cases brought to light only last month were withdrawn as part of a sentencing agreement.

L.D. Keebaugh Jr., of 540 White Deer Drive, stood before Fulton County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Douglas Herman Tuesday for formal arraignment on one count each of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault as well as 652 counts of indecent assault ranging in severity of second-degree to a first-degree misdemeanor.

Accompanied by defense attorney David Keller, Keebaugh pleaded “nolo contendre” or no contest to one count each of rape and aggravated indecent assault. The remaining hundreds of criminal charges against Keebaugh, 50, will be dismissed.

A no contest plea, Judge Herman said, indicates the defendant is aware of the evidence that could be presented during the course of a trial but he did not wish to present a case on his own behalf. In addition, a no contest plea for sentencing purposes will be viewed by the court as a guilty plea and/or conviction, the judge stated.

In connection with Keebaugh’s “pled to sentence,” the agreement with the commonwealth includes a minimum aggregate sentence, which implies there will not be a merging of penalties. Therefore, any sentences imposed will be served consecutively. Maximum combined penalty for the two counts is 30 years incarceration and $50,000 in fines.

Charges in the case were filed in mid-July by Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Joseph Horton, of the McConnellsburg barracks. The affidavit of probable cause prepared by the trooper indicates Keebaugh allegedly abused a young girl starting in February 1998. Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall further elaborated that Keebaugh “very routinely, on a weekly basis” sexually assaulted the girl by touching her in inappropriate places. He also engaged in intercourse with her on at least one occasion before she reached the age of 13, he added.

“It was a lengthy and routine course of conduct,” Kendall stated. The episodes occurred while the girl’s family was sleeping, in his vehicle and even at Keebaugh’s Arcade and Thrift Store, which was located in the former Hustontown High School. The assaults came to a halt in May 2001.

As an additional part of the pled to sentence, the commonwealth agreed to withdraw additional indecent assault charges that were filed in August. Those charges include 12 counts of indecent assault involving individuals less than 16 and 13 years of age and four counts of the corruption of minors.

An affidavit of probable cause filed by state police in that particular case alleges the Brush Creek Township man assaulted a 9-yearold girl and her 6-year-old sister during 2011. The eldest girl reportedly told police she was touched inappropriately during a ride with Keebaugh on an all-terrain vehicle at his home. The affidavit further maintained, the 9-year-old witnessed Keebaugh touching her sister in the past as well. The younger girl allegedly confirmed the story during a separate interview with police investigators.

Already listed as a Megan’s Law sex offender dating back to a conviction in 2000, Keebaugh remains incarcerated in Franklin County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail. In addition to having a presentence investigation report prepared by the Fulton County Probation Department, the state Sexual Offenders Board will also evaluate the case for possible additional registration through Megan’s Law.

As a minimum of 90 days is needed for the sex offenders assessment, the court is tentatively investigating the possibility of holding an afternoon sentencing in or around December 27.

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