A Gaston County judge found
King James Baptist Church’s pastor guilty May 25 of two counts of sexual
Harley Michael Keough, 73,
was charged with 10 counts of sexual battery and one count of assault on a
female. His sentence: a 60-day suspended sentence and 18 months probation.
Keough will also undergo a sexual offender evaluation, submit a DNA sample to
the state and be added to the sexual offender registry.
Keough has been charged with
10 counts of sexual battery and one charge of assault on a female for instances
that allegedly happened between 2006 and 2009. Only two of the counts were
being tried at this time because they occurred on the same day.
In his defense Keough said
he never inappropriately touched women at the food bank. He claimed one of his
accusers was angry because she was refused food. Keough did say that he hugged
one of the women, but said he did so because his church is a loving church.
While on the witness stand,
Keough said that he couldn’t have done anything wrong because he has erectile
On May 24, several women
testified against Keough. They all said the assaults happened while visiting
the Bessemer City church-run food bank.
Keough’s arrest came in
November 2009 after a woman complained to police. After his arrest, others
began to share similar stories.