2012-03-22 / Front Page

Keefer Gets 18 Years In SCI

Woodrow Keefer Jr. sentenced for sexual offenses against children
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Woodrow Keefer Jr. Woodrow Keefer Jr. A McConnellsburg man convicted of committing sexual offenses against three young boys over a six-year time frame was sentenced to state time Tuesday.

Maintaining his innocence throughout the sentencing proceeding overseen by Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Carol L. Van Horn, 65- year-old Woodrow “Woody” Wilson Keefer Jr. denied doing the “terrible things” that were brought to light during a mid-December 2011 jury trial.

Apologizing for the turmoil this has caused the three male victims and their families, Keefer stated, “I will take this to my grave.”

Judge Van Horn referred to the crimes as “heinous” and noted the verdicts given by the jury in the case were supported by evidence. She added it would be an “injustice” to sentence Keefer to anything but three individual sentences for rape of a child less than 13.

The judge in turn ordered Keefer to 18 to 36 years in a state correctional institution for a total of 18 counts ranging from rape and unlawful contact with a minor to indecent assault and indecent exposure. As part of the sentence, Keefer will be given credit for time previously served. He will undergo sexual offender treatment and register for the remainder of his life with Megan’s law as a sexual offender.

Van Horn further announced Keefer must refrain from contacting the victims or their families and cannot have unsupervised contact with any individuals under the age of 18.

In speaking on behalf of the male victims, who range in age from 17 to 24, one mother thanked Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall for giving the young men the peace of mind they deserve. She said they will no longer have to look over their shoulders, and the case was brought about not out of hatred but for love of the children.

“There had to be consequences for his actions,” she concluded.

A second mother told the court they are still seeing the effects this case has had on their children. “He tried to destroy their lives. It take a very, very sick man to destroy the life of a child,” she stated. “My prayer is that he (Keefer) may some day have peace and come to terms with this.”

On December 16, a jury deliberated for nearly two hours after hearing testimony from two of the male victims. Taking the stand for the commonwealth, a 17-year-old McConnellsburg male said he would spend time at the Keefer household located at 385 Peach Orchard Road when he was younger. At times during those visits, the juvenile testified he and three other boys would accompany Keefer into the wooded area behind the residence.

The boy maintained they were made to take off their clothing in order for Keefer to check them for ticks. He said as children they were instructed “not to tell” what happened on “guys day out.”

The boy further testified during five additional occasions they would be taken into a locked shed on the property where Keefer would demonstrate with a stuffed bear sexual acts they were to perform.

He estimated he was 5 years old at the time of the incidents that occurred between 1999 and 2004. The boy added he never told anyone about the abuse until he had a breakthrough at ongoing counseling. He said he was “scared, embarrassed” and thought Keefer would hurt him.

Meanwhile, a 24-year-old male victim told the court Keefer was “scary.”

“He claimed to be a man of God, but he also made himself out to be the voice of God,” the man said.

The victim said he was once disciplined by being thrown over Keefer’s shoulder and carried away. Keefer, the man said, squeezed his neck until he fell to his knees.

In finally going to law enforcement authorities, the man said he wanted the police to know what happened to him so it wouldn’t happen to anyone else.

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