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Former teacher of the year enters no contest plea to student sex charges

1 year 7 months 1 week ago Tuesday, February 16 2016 Feb 16, 2016 February 16, 2016 6:45 PM February 16, 2016 in News
Source: WBRZ

PLAQUEMINE - In a solemn manner, former teacher Keavin Keith pleaded no contest to five counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile and 30 counts of prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student Tuesday morning.

When he was first arrested in May of 2015, Keith was a teacher at the Math Science and Arts Academy West in Iberville Parish. He was accused of having inappropriate, illegal relationships with his students.

Then, the sheriff said they started investigating one complaint about Keith having a relationship with a student and more victims came forward.

"We went in with one [victim]," Sheriff Brett Stassi said. "In less than 12 hours, we had three. I'm leaving that door open that there may be other victims out there."

Keith will remain free on bond until sentencing later. He didn't utter a word as he walked out of court, WBRZ Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto reported from outside the courthouse.

Keith's attorney said said he was waiving any comments until after sentencing.

"There was DNA evidence connecting him to the child that was born from the sexual activity that happened with the victim," Prosecutor Elizabeth Engolio said. "Also, we had a confession from him."

A no contest plea carries the same weight as a guilty plea but can't be used against the suspect in a civil case.

Keith faces up to 50 years in prison and stiff fines. He was allowed to leave the courthouse today as a pre-sentence report gets completed. He's scheduled to be sentenced in May.

Prosecutors said they hoped today gave some closure to the victims.

"Their ability to move on from this, however they are able to do so and I think they are young victims and it's a good day for them that they don't have to be drug through the court process any further," Engolio said.

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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