Former state trooper pleads guilty sexual crimes involving child in Claiborne Parish

HOMER, La. -- A former state trooper pleaded guilty this week in Claiborne Parish District Court to sexually assaulting a female relative over a six-year period.

As a result, Mark Eric Keough faces up to 99 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 3.

Keough pleaded guilty on the day he was scheduled for trial, District Attorney Danny Newell's office said Thursday in a news release.

Keough pleaded as charged to aggravated incest, two counts of aggravated crimes against nature, second-degree rape and 16 counts of pornography involving juveniles. He faces up to 20 years on each count of pornography, 40 years on the rape charge and 99 years in prison on the incest and crimes against nature.

“As a result of the guilty plea, Keough waived any right to appeal the conviction and this also spared the victim from being forced to relive these horrific crimes at trial. This conviction is a testament to the outstanding working relationship between the District Attorney’s Office and the Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office as well as the relentless efforts that are being made by each of our agencies to keep our community safe,” Newell said in a statement.

Keough was arrested after the victim filed a complaint with the sheriff's office. The investigation revealed that Keough sexually abused a relative from the time she was 9 years old until she turned 15, Newell said.

“The victim in this case is a true hero. As a result of her courage, a sexual predator is behind bars. Crimes of this nature committed against children will not be tolerated by law enforcement, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent, regardless of one’s job, position or rank in the community. No one is above the law," Newell said.

Keough resigned from the state police in 2011. Before that, he worked for the Minden Police Department.