2012-02-23 / Front Page

Keebaugh Sentenced To 6-Yr. Prison Term

Additional case involving assault of two juvenile girls withdrawn as part of agreement
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz
STAFF WRITER


L.D. Keebaugh L.D. Keebaugh A Brush Creek Township man will be required to undergo lifetime registration through Megan’s Law and be designated a sexually violent predator as part of a state prison sentence handed down for the assault of a young girl more than 11 years ago.

Fifty-one-year-old L.D. Keebaugh Jr., most recently of 540 White Deer Drive, Harrisonville, stood before Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Douglas Herman Tuesday to answer to a prior “ no- contest” plea to rape and aggravated indecent assault. A no-contest plea 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. For the purposes of sentencing, though, a no-contest plea is viewed by the court as a guilty plea and/or conviction.

However, a new request aired this week by the commonwealth and Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall changed the offenses of the case to one count each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault.

The judge noted the alteration OK’d by Keebaugh would be more closely in line with the allegations made by the commonwealth in the event the case would go to trial. In all other aspects, the previously arranged plea agreement will remain unchanged.

As a result, the commonwealth will move forward with the withdrawal of additional indecent assault charges that were filed in another case in August 2011. 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.

Charges in this particular sentencing 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 maintains Keebaugh, 51, abused a young girl starting in February 1998. The assaults came to a halt in May 2001.

Taking the opportunity to read a letter to the court, the victim told the court Keebaugh’s face creeps up and takes over the faces of people she knows. In addition, the abuse she suffered has caused her to have flashbacks and remain wary of a man’s intentions toward her.

While she admitted she had nothing to gain by being in court, the woman said if one child is helped by her actions, this will all have been worth it. She concluded she still remains a glimmer of the person she could have been.

“I can only hope for change... Maybe someday I’ll be the person I had hoped to be,” she said.

In hearing her words, Judge Herman told the victim it is not often he has heard such a “compelling description” of the impact on a victim.

“All of this should never have happened,” Herman said to Keebaugh. “...You were under circumstances where you full understood what the consequences would be... . You still passed the warning signs and obstacles. You pushed them aside.”

The judge went on to note that to this day Keebaugh had not accepted responsibility for his actions.

Already listed as a Megan’s Law sex offender dating back to a conviction in 2000, Keebaugh has remained incarcerated in Franklin County Prison since his arrest last July. He will not be granted for time served, it was announced by the court.

In connection with one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, he will complete between four and 10 years in a state correctional institution. The sentence will be followed by an additional period of incarceration of two to five years for aggravated indecent assault. Upon his release, he will be required to follow the Megan’s Law registration requirements for the remainder of his life.

Furthermore, he may not have contact with the victim or her family. Any future contact with children less than 18-yearold must be supervised. Restitution totalling $1,800 was ordered to Fulton Behavioral Health to cover the victim’s counseling expenses to date.

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