Man Connected to Local Cold Case Rapes to be Arraigned on Friday
FALL RIVER — A Bridgewater man who fled the state 16 years ago that was recently arrested in Maine will be arraigned Friday in connection to two unsolved rapes from the 1990s.
A Bristol County Grand Jury indicted 61-year-old Ivan Keith on charges of Aggravated Rape (three counts), kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and threats to commit a crime.
Spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office Gregg Milliote says after an extensive investigation by prosecutors and Massachusetts State Police, Ivan Keith was identified as the man who committed two previously unsolved rapes that occurred more than two decades ago in Bristol County.
The first rape happened on July 27, 1997 outside the Bristol-Plymouth Regional High School in Taunton. In that case, a 36-year-old woman was exercising on the track outside the school when a masked man jumped out in front of her, forcibly led her to a wooded area, tied her up and raped her.
The second rape occurred on November 22, 1998 as a 47-year-old woman was working late cleaning offices at the Steve Porter Appraisal Services in Easton. While she was cleaning, a masked man entered the building and attacked her as she opened the door of an office to take out the trash. He then forcibly raped her before binding her hands and fleeing.
Investigators began reviewing the “cold case” earlier this year, and through their efforts, were able to identify Ivan Keith as the person responsible for the crimes. Keith has also been linked to two other unsolved rape cases (one in Norfolk County and one in Plymouth County) both of which occurred in 1996.
Despite the fact that Keith was convicted of several sex-related crimes in Plymouth County in the 1980s and 1990s, along with a sex crime conviction in Maine in 2000, he failed to comply with sex offender registry and failed to provide a DNA sample to the state.
On October 29, 2003, he was set to appear in Brockton District Court for a jury trial on an Open and Gross Lewdness charge. Keith intentionally defaulted and never appeared for that trial date.
In July, the District Attorney’s Office applied for and was granted arrest warrants for failure to register as a sex offender and making false statements. These new arrest warrants were then entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
With the assistance of the State Police Crime Lab, Investigators from the Massachusetts State Police, led by Sergeant Ann Marie Robertson, along with the Maine State Police, the Bar Harbor Police Department and the FBI were able to locate Keith, who was living under a new name in Seal Cove, Maine and took him into custody on August 2nd.
Keith has waived rendition and was ordered held without bail as a flight risk during his arraignment in Taunton District Court. He was also later found to be a danger after the completion of a dangerousness hearing.
The arraignment will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney William McCauley and Assistant District Attorney Caleb Weiner.
Keith will be arraigned in Fall River Superior Court at 9:00 a.m. Friday morning.