By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – A 49-year-old Centralia man was charged yesterday for allegedly molesting three women on separate occasions who he allowed to use his bed when they were either nodded off after using heroin or sleeping while withdrawing from drugs.
Keith D. Keene told a detective when he was arrested he knew their fathers or parents and never touched them.
Keene was arrested on Thursday night when detectives went to the Scammon Creek Apartments in Centralia and spoke to the third alleged victim and then him, according to court documents.
A detective searched Keene’s bedroom and reportedly found a glass smoking device and a small baggie, both with white residue. He was not charged with any drug crime.
When Keene was brought before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, Deputy Prosecutor Joel DeFazio asked for $100,000 bail, suggesting a public safety risk.
Temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller requested the amount of bail be lower, as Keene has no felony history, resides locally and is employed locally by Sterling Breen. His only non-traffic misdemeanor was a fourth-degree assault from 1997.
Judge Joely O’Rourke chose $25,000 bail and signed sexual assault protection orders that require Keene not to go within 1,000 feet of the alleged victims.
Charging documents in the case indicate an inmate at the Lewis County Jail asked to speak with Centralia Police Department detective Adam Haggerty last July, and told him of at least four females who may have been sexually assaulted by Keene.
The documents go on to give the following account of interviews he subsequently conducted:
Later that month, the detective talked with a 21-year-old who at first said nothing happened and she wasn’t a snitch. “(Her) eyes welled up with tears and she looked away,” Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm wrote.
However, the young woman contacted the detective later that night and said she would talk.
She said it happened in mid-May when she and a friend went to Keene’s fifth-wheel trailer and she injected heroin and nodded off. When she came to, her friend was gone and Keene told her she could use his bedroom and rest while she waited.
The 21-year-old said she woke up to her pants being pulled down to her ankles and Keene next to her in bed, with his finger inside her. She jumped up, fixed her clothes and left.
For that, prosecutors charged him with second-degree rape, an offense that has a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Detective Haggerty next interviewed a 20-year-old who described a somewhat similar scenario she said occurred in November 2015, a visit with friends to the fifth-wheel trailer. She said she woke up and Keene was behind her – clothed in boxer shorts and a wife beater T-shirt – rubbing himself against her. She said she got up and immediately went outside.
On Thursday night, detectives got a tip a recent victim of Keene’s was at the Scammon Creek Apartments, and found she had an outstanding warrant. Members of the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team and state Department of Corrections went there, arrested her and then Haggerty interviewed her. The 29-year-old said that in early February, Keene told her she could lay down on his bed and sleep as she was coming down from a several day drug binge.
The 29-year-old said she woke up to find Keene spooning her, rubbing himself against her backside and had one hand inside her panties.
For those incidents, Keene is charged with indecent liberties, crimes with maximum penalties of 10 years in prison.
“Detective Haggerty told Keene that he needed to speak with him about a serious matter,” Bohm wrote in the charging documents.
Before the detective could ask a question, Keene blurted out that a girl accused him of touching her and it was not true, the court documents relate.
Keene’s arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court.