Ex-Texas sheriff pleads guilty in sex case

January 29, 2009 10:18:42 AM PST
A former North Texas sheriff has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman -- telling her sex was the only way to avoid going to jail for drug possession. Former Montague County Sheriff Bill Keating entered his plea Thursday in a Wichita Falls federal court. He'll be sentenced in May and faces up to 10 years in prison.

The magistrate judge says Keating won't be detained because he's not considered a threat to society. However, the judge says he must surrender his weapons and meet other conditions.

Keating, 61, had admitted to forcing the woman to perform a sex act, a federal prosecutor said. That federal charge was unrelated to the FBI investigation at the jail in Montague, about 65 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

Keating served only one term after being elected in 2004. He was defeated in a runoff after the March primary election. The incident took place in November, before his replacement was sworn in.

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