A Pagosa Springs man suspected of sexually assaulting a child was advised of possible charges and penalties Friday in District Court in La Plata County.
Rodney Keller, 52, is being held in La Plata County Jail on a $200,000 bail. Keller, a registered sex offender, is suspected of committing the assault June 3 near Bayfield. He was arrested Wednesday.
According to an arrest affidavit, Keller was invited to play cards and have a few drinks with his ex-girlfriend and another woman, who is the mother of the alleged victim.
The mother knew Keller is a military veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and other emotional problems, and she “felt compassion” toward him, according to the arrest affidavit.
The victim’s mother offered to let Keller spend the night on the couch in the living room. The next morning, the victim woke up before her mother and found Keller on the couch. Keller “gestured with his head” for the victim to follow him to the guest bedroom, where the alleged assault occurred.
The victim told her mother later that day about the encounter. The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office and Bayfield Marshal’s Office interviewed Keller the same day, but he denied the allegations.
This is not Keller’s first run-in with the law.
He was featured in 2008 on the Fox television show “America’s Most Wanted” as being wanted on suspicion of sexual assault on a child. A day later, someone recognized him in the Albertsons parking lot in Durango, which led to his arrest. Keller pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.
La Plata County Sheriff’s investigators looked into the 2008 case and noticed similarities with his most recent case, according to the affidavit.
As part of his bail requirements, Keller must wear a GPS monitor and stay away from schools, libraries and recreation centers. If convicted, he could serve a minimum of 18 years behind bars.
According to the affidavit, Keller lives out of his blue 2001 Ford truck in Pagosa Springs. He has a listed contact location of residency at the Dollar Store in Pagosa Springs. But Keller said Friday in court that he lives in the San Juan Motel and works at the Junction Restaurant in Pagosa Springs.