Kemp, Texas (KETK) — An East Texas man has recieved the maximum sentence allowed for indecency with a child by exposure.
Judge Carter Tarrance of the 392nd Judicial District Court sentenced Roger Keith, 43, of Kemp, Wednesday, to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The 10-year sentence was the maximum allowed under the law as Keith was charged with Indecency with a Child by Exposure, a third degree felony.
Assistant District Attorney’s Jenny Palmer and Danny Cox prosecuted the case for Scott McKee’s District Attorney’s Office.
Investigator Jessica Halbert with the Henderson County Sherriff’s Office received a report of Indecency in January 2013. During the course of her investigation, Halbert interviewed the victim’s mother and learned that the victim reported Keith would ask her to “talk dirty” to him as he pleasured himself while watching pornographic material on television. This occurred from the time the victim was six years old and lasted over a period of eight years.
The victim’s mother testified at trial as to the impact Keith’s crime has had on her family, stating that her whole family has been traumatized by his actions. She further testified that Keith had two personas, one in which he appeared to be a devoted churchgoer and godly man, and a darker side he hid from the public.
After pleading guilty to the indictment, Keith’s attorney asked the court to consider giving Keith probation. Assistant District Attorney Jenny Palmer urged the court to consider the severity of the crime and asked the court to sentence Keith to the maximum sentence of 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections.
District Attorney Scott McKee was very pleased with the maximum sentence. He also reminded parents, teachers and caregivers to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary when it comes to children. “Many people that victimize our youth are right under our noses.” Said McKee. “In this case, Keith was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Thank God, a family member stepped forward.” McKee also plans to lobby the legislature to look at passing laws with tougher sentences in indecency cases. McKee indicated that Indecency with a Child by exposure is the same level of offense as some forgeries.
Keith will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.