Long prison sentence for a man convicted of sexual assault .
34-year-old Timothy H. Keeler was sentenced Monday to 12 years behind bars.. He had pled guilty in July to first degree sexual assault, a Class II felony, as part of a plea agreement in which a Class II-B was amended to the Class II. Keeler, who listed a Plattsmouth address but has spent most of his adult life in the Elkhorn and Omaha area, had also originally been charged with a Class III Felony.
According to court records, the sexual assaults on a then-13-year-old girl occurred during a span of about seven months in 2011.
Deputy Cass County Attorney Steve Sunde said the victim had been contemplating running away in August of 2011 and was in the process of writing a letter that included the allegations against Keeler. The letter was found by her sister. The sister told her mother who went immediately to authorities.
Sunde said Keeler made attempts to hide DNA and other evidence, but there was an item with DNA evidence that would have been entered as an exhibit had there been a trial.
The joint recommendation of the prosecution and defense for the 12-year sentence in the Nebraska Department of Corrections was part of the plea agreement.
Sunde said the impact of Keeler’s actions caused “unimaginable and immeasurable” damage to the victim.
Defense attorney Emil Fabian said there was no question his client “lost his way” but Keeler feels remorse and will take advantage of the counseling available in prison.
Cass County District Court Judge Randall Rehmeier said he found the plea agreement sentencing recommendation appropriate. The judge noted that Keeler should have been someone who protected the girl but instead was the perpetrator.
Keeler’s name will be entered into the state sex offender registry but Rehmeier said he wasn’t going to order that Keeler be listed as a violent offender.