Home Birmingham Press Releases 2013 Former State Trooper Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Depriving Woman of Civil Rights

Former State Trooper Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Depriving Woman of Civil Rights

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 28, 2013
  • Northern District of Alabama (205) 244-2001

BIRMINGHAM—A federal judge today sentenced a former Alabama State Trooper to one year in prison for depriving a woman of her civil rights by coercing her to perform sex acts, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.

U.S. District Judge Virginia E. Hopkins sentenced Keith Wilson Kelley, 51, to the maximum prison term under the misdemeanor charge of depriving a person’s civil rights under the color of law or while acting in the official capacity of a police officer. Kelley must serve one year of supervised release following completion of his prison term.

Kelley was a captain with the state troopers in September 2007 when the incident occurred in Shelby County. He pleaded guilty to the charge in federal court in December.

According to evidence presented in Kelley’s sentencing hearing today, he violated the civil rights of a 20-year-old college student as follows:

Kelley was behind the young woman in line at a self-service check-out at a discount department store in Pelham in 2007. He saw that she did not scan and pay for all the items she took from the store. Kelley followed her to her car, showed his badge, and then took her name and phone number. Kelley told the woman that he would see how the store wanted to handle the matter and would be in touch. He later called her, said the store was leaving the matter to him, and that he wanted her to meet him at a gas station.

Kelley was in his patrol car when the woman met him. He searched her for a wire, told her she would be convicted of a felony, but that he could make the case go away. He then coerced her into performing sex acts.

The woman reported the incident to Pelham Police.

According to the government’s sentencing memorandum to the court, the incident was not an isolated act by Kelley, “who, during a two-year period, brazenly propositioned at least four other women after issuing them traffic tickets in his capacity as a public official.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and Pelham Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Staci Cornelius prosecuted the case.