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Lehighton man given possible life sentence for rape of child

A Lehighton man was sentenced to a possible life-term in state prison on Monday on a charge of a rape of a child.

Judge Steven R. Serfass sentenced Jason Keith Keiser, 30, to serve 20 to 40 years in a state correctional institution followed by 36 months of state probation.

Keiser is currently serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison on similar charges. That sentence was imposed in October 2018.

Serfass, calling the facts of the case “despicable” and the case itself “a heinous crime” rejected a plea to run his sentence concurrent with the federal term, stating his sentence would run consecutive to the federal term.

Serfass said the victim was “young and vulnerable” just 2 years old at the time of the incidents.

He added it was “difficult for the court to comprehend a more evil set of circumstances.”

Defense counsel Attorney Ernest D. Preate Jr., argued that his client has shown remorse for his actions by pleading guilty in federal court and state court to the charges. He said he cooperated with authorities throughout the investigation and noted there was some history of mental health problems.

Keiser told the court, “If there were any way I could change what I have done I would. I’m sorry for all the pain and hurt I have caused.”

Assistant District Attorney Robert S. Frycklund, who prosecuted the case, told the court, “I would be hard-pressed to think of a more horrific crime than this.”

Case history

The charges stemmed from a federal law enforcement investigation, along with state police and local officials, in which investigators executed search warrants that resulted in the discovery of a very large collection of child pornography on Keiser’s electronic devices, including child pornography images and videos created by Keiser. Keiser also shared child pornography with others via social media applications.

Local officials also said Keiser sexually assaulted a then 2-year-old girl and took photographs of her and a 2-year-old boy naked and distributed them on social media.

Serfass also ordered Keiser to submit to a sexual offenders evaluation, follow all requirements concerning registration and reporting of Megan’s Law, must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life, have no unsupervised contact with children, supply a DNA sample, cannot use a computer and pay court costs of about $1,000.

He was given credit for 503 days spent in prison on the charge.

He will be returned to federal custody to finish that sentence and then turned over to Pennsylvania authorities when he completes his 22-year term.