Court denies Keck’s sex case appeal

Multiple guilty verdicts against a Marietta man accused of sexually abusing young boys was upheld last week by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Daniel A. Keck II, 47, is currently serving a 71-year prison sentence at Ross Correctional Institute after a jury found him guilty in September 2009 of 27 felony counts, including four first-degree felony counts of rape.

The Ohio high court agreed in May to hear Keck’s appeal, which was based on the fact that the forensic scientist who created DNA profiles from samples found on Keck’s bed sheets was dismissed from testifying at trial.

“He argued that his constitutional right to confront witnesses against him had been violated,” said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Rings.

In addition to five victims who testified to engaging in sexual acts with Keck at his Marietta home, forensic scientist Kristen Slaper testified that she had matched DNA from Keck and two of the victims to DNA profiles created by a second forensic scientist, Mark Lasko.

Lasko’s role in the process was essentially to create a graph-raw data which Slaper could later use to make or refute DNA matches.

He was dismissed from testifying after the defense admitted his official report into testimony, said Rings.

“The report had information that helped them too, so they stipulated the admissibility of that report be admitted into evidence,” he said.

In the decision-State v. Keck, Slip Opinion No. 2013-Ohio-5160-the court writes: “When a defendant has stipulated to the admissibility and content of a nontestifying analyst’s scientific report, the testimony of a witness who relied on that report does not violate the defendant’s right to confrontation.”

Beyond the four rape charges, Keck was also found guilty on five counts of gross sexual imposition, two counts of kidnapping, nine counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, four counts of pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor and three counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor.

Keck has the option to appeal the case in the federal court system.