Registered sex offender sentenced for child molestation
PHELPS COUNTY – A registered sex offender from Rolla was sentenced for child molestation on Monday.
Joshua T. Keeping, 34, was sentenced to 10 years. In 2015, Keeping was visiting friends in Rolla and fondled a child who was visiting neighbors. The victim told another neighbor who helped report the incident to police.
Phelps County Prosecutor Brendon Fox said Keeping had previously raped an unconscious 17-year-old girl in Michigan and fondled his six-year-old niece in South Dakota.
"I'm disgusted that Keeping was out to commit this crime," Fox said.
He said Keeping will be screened for a civil commitment as well, meaning, as a sexual predator, he could be detained after his sentence is completed.
"When that happens," Fox said, "he will be civilly committed until he is 'fixed.'"
Fox notes less than half a percent of sexual predators are ever released because you "can't fix pedophiles."
"You might look at it as a life sentence," Fox said.