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Man gets 30-60 years in rape of elderly woman

A judge yesterday sentenced a man to 30 to 60 years in state prison for raping a 77-year-old woman in her Olney home last year, stomping on her naked chest, and tying her up.

A judge yesterday sentenced a man to 30 to 60 years in state prison for raping a 77-year-old woman in her Olney home last year, stomping on her naked chest, and tying her up.

DNA evidence linked Kevin McKeither, 49, to the egregious crime that shattered the elderly victim's sense of order, decency and humanity.

Assistant District Attorney Bill Davis told Common Pleas Judge Lisa Rau yesterday that the victim never wanted to see her attacker again and was not in court because she was hospitalized for depression.

"This crime really broke her," Davis said.

The judge called the crime "chilling," and said, "it's frankly impossible for me to fathom why any person would do this to another person."

As the judge imposed the sentence that Davis asked for, a young nephew of the defendant responded by loudly banging his fist on a wooden gallery bench.

Family members tried to calm the relative, who then screamed, "I don't care!" as he got up from his seat and flung a crumpled paper bag at a sheriff's deputy.

The nephew then stomped out of the courtroom.

McKeither - convicted by a Common Pleas jury in May of rape, burglary, robbery and related offenses - also ranted in court.

"I didn't rape nobody!" a burly, bald-headed McKeither, hands cuffed in front of him, protested. "I didn't rob nobody. I didn't burglarize. . . . Thirty to 60 years? When am I going to register [with state police as a sex offender? When I'm] 90 years old?"

As McKeither was escorted out of the room, heavily guarded by 11 sheriff's deputies, he blurted: "I do want to file an appeal."

During the trial, the victim described how her attacker entered her home on Gale Street near Front about 1:30 p.m. June 5, 2007, and jumped her from behind. He "took a knife, cut my dress and forced me on the floor," she testified.

He then raped her, she said. Afterward, he stomped on her bare chest.

At McKeither's preliminary hearing, the woman said she asked the man during the attack: "Don't you have any decency?"

He answered, she testified: "Stupid woman, there is no decency. There is no God."

After raping her, the man tied the victim's hands and gagged her mouth with scarves she had hanging on her basement door. He used her bra to bind her ankles. Kneeling face forward toward the open basement door, she feared he would push her down the steps.

He didn't. But he did steal her cash and leave her tied up before he fled.

The woman could not identify her attacker, but DNA evidence found on the clothing used to bind her was a match to McKeither.

McKeither, of Napa Street near York, Strawberry Mansion, had been staying at the time with his sister Shawna McKeither and brother-in-law William Burnett Jr., who lived across the street from the victim.

Yesterday, Shawna McKeither told the judge her brother was "not the predator [authorities are] making him out to be."

Public defender Elizabeth McHugh told the judge her client's most recent conviction before this resulted from a 1990 offense. He was convicted of indecent exposure and corrupting a minor. She said McKeither has maintained his innocence in the rape and contended he has something to contribute to society.

Also yesterday, public defender Jerome Mallon successfully argued that McKeither does not meet the legal definition of a sexually violent predator.

Judge Rau said there was no question the rape was predatory and sexually violent. But under the law, the commonwealth would have needed to prove that McKeither has a mental abnormality or personality disorder, which it did not, the judge said.

McKeither, nonetheless, will need to register with state police once he is released. *