A West Valley man who pleaded guilty to being the so-called "Avenues rapist," was sentenced Monday to serve consecutive five-years-to-life and one-to-15-year prison sentences.
Jack C. Keenan, 31, told 3rd District Judge Michael Murphy he was willing to accept punishment for the crimes he committed."These people that I hurt . . . I don't want them to feel shameful, because I did it to them," he said. "They had no control over what I did. They couldn't stop me. They shouldn't be shameful."
But Murphy told Keenan his victims have no reason to be ashamed and told him he should be worried about psychological damage he caused them when he broke into their homes and sexually assaulted them.
"The concern you ought to have for them is if they can get over the trauma you caused them," he said.
Keenan was originally charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault and three counts of aggravated burglary in connection with three separate incidents that occurred within 18 months in Salt Lake City's Avenues, where he once lived.
Prosecutors and police say he was also responsible for a number of other sex-related incidents in the area that frightened Avenues residents, who demanded better police protection in the area.
But unknown to the residents, the Salt Lake Police Department had set up an ongoing surveillance operation. They arrested Keenan after catching him coming out from some bushes where he had allegedly been watching someone. Police had conducted the surveillance for about a month but did not disclose the fact for fear of tipping off the assailant.
As part of a plea bargain with prosecutors, Keenan pleaded guilty to one count of attempted aggravated sexual assault and one count of burglary. As part of that agreement, Keenan accompanied police detectives to the Avenues, where he explained his crimes and helped them clear up other cases.
In exchange for his guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed to drop all other charges and will not file any new ones.
Keenan's attorney, Mitchell Olsen, said his client was a "sick and troubled man" who chose to plead guilty rather than make his victims go through the traumatic experience of testifying in court.
Olsen read from Keenan's diary: "I have been doing bad for a long time now and I just don't know when I can start living right . . . I don't really know who I am inside . . . Some day I will live right. That's all I really want."
Keenan raped or sexually assaulted at least three women after breaking into their apartments during early morning hours. Olsen said he was intoxicated or on drugs when he committed the crimes and "feels as low as a man can feel."
"Jack wants nothing more than what everyone else wants. He wants help," Olsen told the judge.
In sentencing Keenan, Murphy made a recommendation to the prison that Keenan receive therapy as quickly as possible. He also ordered that restitution be paid to the victims and their insurance companies.