FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A Bridgewater man who faced a judge Friday morning in connection to two previously unsolved rape cases in the 90s in Taunton and Easton was ordered held without bail.
According to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, the suspect, Ivan Keith, 61, was held as a flight risk and was also found dangerous.
“I am very pleased the court held him without bail as both a flight risk and as a danger to the community. There couldn’t be a stronger case of flight risk than what this defendant has already done to avoid apprehension,” District Attorney Quinn said. “The court clearly has the authority to hold a defendant who poses a serious flight risk without bail and we are pleased Judge Yessayan’s ruling.”
A Bristol County Grand Jury indicted Keith on charges of aggravated rape (five counts), kidnapping (two counts), assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (two counts), perjury, failure to register as a sex offender, failure to provide a DNA sample, breaking and entering, and threats to commit a crime (two counts).
Keith pleaded not guilty to the charges against him during his arraignment in Fall River Superior Court.
The DA’s office said after committing “two brutal rapes” in Bristol County, Keith fled to northern Maine and was “hiding out” until his arrest over the summer.
The DA’s office said the first rape occurred 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, the DA said, occurred on November 22, 1998, as a 47-year-old woman was working late cleaning offices at a business 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.
In addition to the two cases in Bristol County, the DA’s office said Keith is also linked to two other previously unsolved rape cases – one in Norfolk County and one in Plymouth County – both of which occurred in 1996.
Jason Maloney, Keith’s defense attorney, says his client has “declared his innocence and looks forward to his day in court.”
The DA’s Office said Keith is due back in court Dec. 6 for a pretrial hearing.