Monday, February 02, 2009

COP WATCH: North Texas Sheriff Cops a Plea in Fed Court, Faces 10 Yrs in Pen

The feds got themselves another Texas Sheriff last week.

Montague Sheriff Bill Keating Pled Guilty and Faces 10 Years in Prison, $250K in Fines

Last Thursday, Montague County Sheriff Bill Keating - a man who has worn a badge for the past forty years - accepted a plea deal offered by federal prosecutors, pleading guilty in federal court for violating the civil rights of a woman and facing a maximum fine of $250,000 and 10 years in federal prison.

"Civil rights violation" sounds pretty tame, doesn't it? Well, actually it is kinda reminiscent of the old Al Capone case, where the feds got Capone on tax evasion. Those federal crimes sound kind of dull and dry, until you find out all the details behind them.

The Backstory on Sheriff Bill

The real story behind Sheriff Bill Keating, 62, is a nasty one. As reported by the Feds, it seems the sheriff and his crew went out to some guy's house, with a warrant, to arrest him. When they got there, the man and his girlfriend were at the house. Rather than just taking the guy in, the Sheriff's posse looked around and found some drug paraphernalia along with the dregs of some methamphetamine.

Sexual Assault On More Than One Occasion Equals Violation of Federal Civil Rights

And here's where the story gets really bad. Seems Sheriff Keating took the girlfriend aside and threatened to bust her, too, unless she had sex with him. Authorities report that the two, the Sheriff and the girlfriend, drove in his pickup truck to some back road where she performed oral sex on Sheriff Bill.

It wasn't over then, though. The Feds report that Sheriff Bill went back to the girlfriend on several occasions with the same demands for sexual favors, and that he also forced her to agree to become an informant for the Sheriff's Department.

This is the stuff of bad B movies. The only good thing? That woman had the courage to tell the truth about what was happening to her. Good for her. That took guts, to go against a Texas Sheriff and his whole department.

Now, the State District Attorney Has His Turn at Bat: More Charges Are Expected

While the Feds have made their case based upon constitutional violations, the State of Texas still has a turn at bat. And, the Montague County District Attorney has announced he's looking to file charges against Sheriff Bill Keating, along with assorted deputies, for having sex with inmates in the county jail along with allowing contraband into the facility.

And, get this -- things were so bad in that jail under Sheriff Bill's command, that some of the jail cells had recliners in them. Recliners. Think about that.

Look for the State indictments to hit sometime later this month.

Betcha we're gonna here lots more bad stuff about ol' Sheriff Bill: that fed story about the girlfriend? Tip of the iceberg. Betcha.

And, betcha we're gonna see some civil lawsuits popping up sometime soon, too. You know, civil damages for the Sheriff's bad actions, and the assertions of an immunity defense.


Associated Press

Dallas Morning News