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Lee County residents voiced their displeasure with a potential property tax hike Thursday evening.More >>
Lee County residents voiced their displeasure with a potential property tax hike Thursday evening. More >>
November 30, 2004
Albany-- The jury deliberated just over three hours before convicting Michael O'Keefe. The 37-year-old stood quietly with his head bowed as the verdict was read.
He could get up to 55-years in prison for possessing and distributing child porn.
In closing arguments, The prosecution described Michael O'Keefe as a sexual pervert, who skillfully used computers at Darton College, Lee County High, and his home to download and build child porn websites from 1997 to 2003.
O'Keefe claimed he was trying to trap pedophiles at child porn sites, and turn them over to authorities. But the jury did not believe him.
Defense Attorney Pete Donaldson said, "It may not be possible to win one of these cases. If you come into the courtroom with a preconceived notion that everyone is guilty, that many people do."
Federal authorities went after O'Keefe because he was a school teacher. U.S. Attorney Max Wood said, "Anytime you have a crime where children are the victim, and you have an individual who works around children in a position of trust, it tends to aggravate the situation."
Judge Louis Sands revoked O'Keefe's bond, because child porn is a crime of violence. A pre-sentence investigation into O'Keefe's background will be done, before he is sentenced.
Federal sentencing regulations mandate he spend at least ten years in prison. Attorney Pete Donaldson said they plan to file an appeal soon.