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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Clinton County Trooper Charged With Rape

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - An off-duty state trooper raped a female acquaintance after accompanying her home following a night out at a tavern last year, the state attorney general said Thursday.

Trooper Richard Keener, 39, of Bellefonte, was charged Thursday with two counts of indecent assault and one count each of rape and sexual assault.

Keener, who was stationed at the state police barracks in Lamar, Clinton County, was arrested Thursday while on duty in Centre County. He has been suspended without pay, said Cpl. Linette Quinn, a spokeswoman at state police headquarters in Harrisburg.

Keener met the woman and a female friend at a bar in Lock Haven late on May 16, 2006, then accompanied them back to the victim's apartment early the next morning, authorities said in a criminal complaint.

He had consumed a "significant amount of alcohol," according to a statement from Attorney General Tom Corbett's office.

The victim at one point went to her bedroom alone and was unknowingly followed by Keener, who closed the door, "forcibly grabbed (the victim) by her neck, threw her onto the bed and started biting her on the neck and inner thigh area," the complaint said.The woman told Keener "not to bite her again, that it hurt," the complaint said.

Authorities said Keener grabbed the woman by the throat and that she shook her head from side to side and tried to kick Keener, who weighed 130 pounds more than her.

Keener bit the woman numerous times during the assault, police said. After Keener left, she called her parents and was taken to a hospital.

A message left Thursday afternoon at a phone number listed for Keener was not immediately returned.

He was arraigned before Centre Hall District Judge Thomas Jordan and was released on $25,000 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing will be held in Clinton County, but has not yet been scheduled.

The case was referred by Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight's office to the attorney general because of a conflict of interest.

McKnight had worked with Keener before on other prosecutions, said Corbett's spokeswoman Lauren Bozart. Information from Courier Times.

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