July 21, 2008

Glenn Keeton pleads guilty to lewd and lascivious acts

The Morning Sun, Pittsburg, KS

July 21, 2008

COLUMBUS, KS -- Glenn Keeton pled guilty Monday to one count of lewd and lascivious acts and one count of failure to register, just minutes before his jury trial was set to start.

The possible sentence for the lewd and lascivious charge runs from five months to 17 months, while the failure to register comes with a sentence from 31 months to 136 months.

At Keeton’s sentencing, set for Sept. 16, the judge could decide to run both sentences concurrently.

The decision came as a bit of a surprise, at least to the more than 50 potential jurors who sat waiting in the court room as the attorneys and Cherokee County Judge David Rogers worked in a separate room, prior to jury selection. Those potential jurors, who were asked to report at 8:30 a.m., were getting a bit restless when Rogers came in at 9:15 a.m. to tell them the attorneys were going through preliminary details before starting. He said the hopes were that they could put together a jury by noon.

It didn't take that long to close the trial. At about 10 a.m., Rogers re-entered the room.

"You know the saying 'All dressed up but no place to go?'" Rogers asked the crowd. 'We've just reached a plea deal."

Rogers then told the potential jurors they could leave.

Nola Wright, assistant attorney general, said the situation "was not unusual" in a case like Keeton's. Defense Attorney Gene Barrett declined to comment.

Keeton was set to have two separate trials this summer, one this week for aggravated indecent liberties with a child and lewd and lascivious behavior. The second was set for Aug. 18, where he would have faced four counts of failing to register as a sex offender, Wright said.

Keeton’s charges stemmed from his ownership of Glenn's Ready, Set, Go, a Pittsburg gymnastics facility. He was arrested in June 2007 after officials heard testimony from a 12-year-old Cherokee County female.

Because of the age of the girl, Keeton’s aggravated indecent liberties with a child would have come with a sentencing between 55 months and 247 months.

This is the second time charges have been brought against Keeton for indecent acts involving a child. Keeton was found guilty in a California court in 1993 of one count of lewd and lascivious behavior involving his 10-year-old daughter.

Crawford County Sheriff Sandy Horton said Keeton registered, as required by law, in Crawford County when he established his business, but the state of Kansas did not place him on their public sex offender list because he was not published publicly in California.

California later passed a law making the sex offender list public, but because it was not made retroactive, Keeton stayed off the public list.


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