Weld man pleads guilty to sex offense

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WELD – A local man has pleaded guilty to having sexual contact with three young members of his church’s congregation in the summers of 1999 and 2000.

Michael Glennon Keim, 64, of Weld, pleaded guilty today in Franklin County Superior Court to one count of unlawful sexual contact, a Class C felony, with three victims, all girls younger than 14 years of age.

While sentencing has been deferred until February 20, 2009, both Keim’s attorney and the District Attorney’s Office have agreed upon a recommendation of a six-month county jail sentence to be served.

Michael Glennon Keim

Police say that during summer church retreats held at his house in 2000, Keim had inappropriate sexual contact with three members of the Calvary Hill Baptist Church in Wilton. All three of those members were female and underage at the time of the alleged incidents. Keim, while having no formal role within the church, apparently assisted the pastor and had been extremely involved within the congregation.

In the summer of 2008, during a church-related work camp, one of the victims was approached by Keim, who made inappropriate comments which Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said she termed as “passes” at her.

The young woman told her father, who alerted the Wilton Police Department. She then told her father that Keim had touched her inappropriately in the summer of 1999. Once that department realized that the crimes had taken place in Weld, they handed the investigation over to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, which has jurisdiction.

Detective David St. Laurent, of that department, began an investigation, with two other young women coming forward to say that they had also been touched inappropriately while on Keim’s property, in what Andrews termed as being in the context of the “swimming hole.”

Eventually, St. Laurent set up a phone call between Keim and the first victim’s father, where he taped Keim apologizing for what he had done. Keim was then arrested and charged with three counts of unlawful sexual contact.

The recommendations of the assistant district attorney and Keim’s attorney are that he serve a four-year DOC sentence, with all but six months suspended. After his release, Keim will face four years of probation, with conditions prohibiting unsupervised contact with children and with the victims, sex offender counseling and that he be permanently entered into the sex offender registry.

While Justice Michaela Murphy, who will sentence Keim next month, could overrule the joint recommendation and impose her own sentence, Keim would then have an opportunity to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial on the charges.

Andrews noted that at least one family wanted to be heard on the matter of sentencing, as they were “not entirely satisfied,” according to the assistant district attorney.

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