Alleged serial male rapist heads to trial

January 11, 2008 11:05:06 AM PST
Jury selection began Friday in the case of a 19-year-old man accused of robbing and raping other young men in nearby Baytown. Keith Hill, a recent high school graduate, is accused of stalking, attacking and robbing five male victims in Baytown during an eight-month spree in 2006.

The case not only spread fear in the refinery town east of Houston but also piqued the interest of those who study the criminal mind because the attacker preyed on men, something of a rarity in the world of crime.

The U.S. Justice Department says one in 33 men in the United States has been a victim of a rape or attempted rape, compared with one in six women. Experts say men are far less likely to report a rape to authorities, because they fear being perceived as weak or see the attack as an assault on their masculinity.

Posters were plastered around Baytown showing a sketch of a young man identified as a serial robber-rapist. The attacks were occurring every 30 to 60 days, and local chat rooms and bulletin boards were flooded with postings reflecting worry.

Testimony was expected to begin Friday afternoon, officials said.

Hill is being tried for only one of the attacks that occurred in May 2006. It was picked because investigators have DNA evidence they say connects Hill to the case, as well as items taken from some of the victims that were recovered from Hill's home.

If convicted, Hill could receive anything from probation (since he has no prior criminal record) to multiple life sentences. He faces charges of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault.

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