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Hagerstown man gets three years for assault

October 19, 2000

Hagerstown man gets three years for assault



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


A Washington County Circuit Court jury deliberated less than one hour Thursday before finding Gary L. Keck guilty of second-degree assault.

Keck was sentenced to serve three years in prison by Judge Fred C. Wright for the beating of a woman he lived with in October 1999.

But the 34-year-old Hagerstown man is still facing charges of assault, false imprisonment and the rape of another woman just two months ago, according to court records.

In the August incidents, Keck is charged with first- and second-degree rape, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses, and first- and second-degree assault, according to court records.

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The latest victim, who contacted Hagerstown City Police on Aug. 18, said she came home late from work on Aug. 12 and found Keck on her couch, court records said.

She told police she was surprised to find him there because he had been in jail for a previous assault on her Aug. 4.

As soon as she walked into the room, Keck allegedly grabbed her, pushed her and kicked her in the face, court records said. She fell to the couch and Keck continued to beat her, court records said.

The victim told police that Keck threatened to kill her and went out to the kitchen to get a knife. But when he returned, he instead tore off her clothes and raped her, court records said.

At 8 a.m. on Aug. 13, the victim's mother came to the house and together they went to Chambersburg Hospital and then to a women's shelter in Chambersburg, Pa.

Bruises and other injuries were still visible when she reported the incident and pictures were taken, Hagerstown City Police said.

Because of the sexual nature of the allegations, the August victim's name is being withheld.

The jury Thursday heard evidence of Keck's violence on Karen Labell as she testified that she was repeated hit in the eye and face by Keck on Oct. 3, 1999, at a High Street residence.

"Every day he'd tell me to get out and then he'd beg me to come back," Labell said, describing the arguments and fights they had regularly.

Hagerstown Police officer Angela Poole said she encountered Labell in the lobby of police headquarters on Oct. 3, 1999 crying, injured and intoxicated.

"She told me that Keck had assaulted her but that she was too scared to say that anything was wrong when officers were there earlier," Poole said.

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