Rapist apologizes for assault of 17-year-old, 4 others he attacked during 8-month crime spree in South Texas in 2006
BAYTOWN A man convicted last week of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy at gunpoint was sentenced to 99 years in prison Jan. 17 after he apologized for that attack and the rapes of four other young men.
In a written statement read in court, Keith Hill also said he decided to assault men rather than women because “it would be less hard on them.”
Hill, 20, was convicted Jan. 15 of assaulting one of five young men he had confessed to raping during an eight-month spree in 2006 in Baytown.
Earlier, the defense had disputed his confession to police, but in the trial’s punishment phase Hill said he deeply regrets the attacks and hopes his victims “find it in their heart to forgive me.”
“It would not happen if I did not have mental issues,” Hill said. He added that he had prayed to both God and the devil for instruction.
He blamed his aggressive behavior on an incident when he was 13, when a “white guy in his 40s” knocked on his door and said, “We’re going to have some fun.”
He said he screamed and ran away after the man touched his “personal areas.”
The victim in the case that went to trial testified Jan. 14 that he thought he was going to die in the attack, which began when Hill abducted him from his driveway as the victim searched for something in his car.
The victim said he was blindfolded with duct tape, his hands were tied behind his back with zip ties, and he was forced in the back seat of an SUV.
There the assailant forced him to perform oral sex and hit him on the back of the head with a gun eight or nine times.
Another victim testified Jan. 16 in the punishment phase that Hill had taken degrading photos of him and threatened to post them on the Internet if he talked.
The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.
Hill described feeling conflicted even as he committed the crimes, saying he struck two of his victims after assaulting them because he was “upset at them for doing what I told them to do.”
His attorney, Laine Lindsey, had sought probation for his client, saying none of the victims claimed any “lifelong trauma.”
Prosecutor Cameron Calligan countered, “Nobody should have to go through what these young men did.”
The attacks spread fear in Baytown, an oil-refining town of 70,000 people about 30 miles east of Houston, and piqued the interest of those who study the criminal mind because the attacker preyed on men, something of a rarity in the world of crime.
The U.S. Justice Department says one in 33 men in the United States has been a victim of a rape or attempted rape, compared with one in six women.
Many experts say men are far less likely to report a rape because they fear being perceived as weak.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 25, 2008