Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120
BROCKTON – A Maine man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping a woman in West Bridgewater in 1996, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz has announced.
Today, Ivan Keith, now 62, formerly of Seal Cove, Maine, pleaded guilty to one count each of Rape, Kidnapping, Open and Gross Lewdness and Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. Brockton Superior Court Judge Angel Kelly sentenced Keith to serve 19-20 years in State Prison to be followed by five years of probation.
At approximately 2:45 p.m. on November 22, 1996, a woman was walking along a dirt path nearby West Bridgewater High School and North Elm Street when a man wearing a mask jumped in front of her on the path. The man raped the female victim and fled the scene.
In 2013, the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab linked DNA evidence from the 1996 investigation in this case with that of three other rapes which occurred in two other counties during the same timeframe. In August, 2019, the State Police Crime Lab had a breakthrough in their investigation and matched Ivan Keith’s DNA to DNA found on all four victims and he was arrested in Maine where he had been living under an alias for 15 years.
“Ivan Keith violently attacked this woman and then fled to Maine where he went on with everyday life, leaving the victim behind to cope and try to move on from this terrorizing incident,” DA Cruz said. “Years passed, but investigators never gave up on finding justice for this victim and, in 2019, working cooperatively with Norfolk and Bristol Counties, were able to match DNA to the crime. I commend Massachusetts State Police for their diligent police work in helping to apprehend this violent rapist. I am hopeful that knowing Ivan Keith will spend the next 19-20 years in State Prison, this victim can finally find some peace.”
Keith has been charged with Rape and other charges in Bristol and Norfolk Counties. Those cases are ongoing.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Jennifer Sprague and Kevin O’Leary and was investigated by West Bridgewater Police Department and State Police Detectives assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.