Terry Edward Keegan, 60, a former Homeland Security employee who lived in Irvine, was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday for molesting two girls and inappropriately touching another victim.
Keegan was convicted on March 23 of a felony count of lewd acts on a minor younger than 14 as well as single misdemeanor counts each of child annoyance, sexual battery, simple battery and destroying or concealing evidence.
He was given credit for 516 days behind bars so far. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for the next 20 years, by O.C. Superior Court Judge Andre Manssourian.
Keegan’s attorney, Jay Moorhead of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office, argued for probation, citing how the defendant grew up with an abusive alcoholic father as well as his lack of a criminal record and public service. The defendant’s parents split up when Keegan was 13.
Manssourian ultimately rejected the probation plea after O.C. Deputy District Attorney Juliet Oliver said that Keegan used his governmental employee status as “a veil” to create a false sense of security for the parents of his victims. She also argued that he also took advantage of his girlfriend’s granddaughter.
Keegan previously served in the U.S. Army and he was a former reserve O.C. deputy sheriff. He worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the Transportation Security Administration and immigration services.
Oliver also noted that Keegan wiped out data from his electronic devices with special tools that government forensic experts could not recover. The judge wondered how much more serious prison time Keegan might have served if the prosecutor had been able to access the data on the hard drives.
One of the victims had lived with Keegan since she was about 4 years old, and her grandmother took custody of her. The other two victims were friends of hers, according to the prosecutor.
Oliver said in her opening statement at the trial that one of the friends told a doctor in 2016 that Keegan would pick her up and molest her when she would visit with the defendant’s relative when she was 8 to 10 years old. The doctor called Irvine police, but they did not follow up and the investigation fell through the cracks.
The victim also told investigators that once, while at a community pool, Keegan began taking pictures of her and her sister and said he was testing out a new camera.
Irvine police were contacted again in the spring of 2021 after his relative and her friend were hanging around during spring break when the two were 16 years-old.
Keegan made inappropriate comments to one of the girls and insisted on taking her out to shop for bathing suits. He also called around to stores during the coronavirus pandemic to see which ones had changing rooms.
When they were at the pool, one of the girls saw him trying to take a picture of her and she said to stop, but Keegan allegedly said she looked cute and asked her to pose with the girl he lived with.
The friend also told the girl who was living with Keegan that just before Easter he had touched her buttocks.
One of the girl’s mothers called the police in April of 2021 after her daughter told her about Keegan’s actions. That girl said Keegan would often make inappropriate comments about her body and breast size over the five years the girls were friends.
The relative also said that she found a vibrator in Keegan’s bedroom while she was looking for scissors when she was in the sixth grade and he told her it was for an ex-girlfriend and that he was saving it for her.
The girl also recounted how Keegan would often expose himself, walking around nude in his bedroom, which was across from hers, and that once when they were in a hotel she saw him masturbating in the bed next to hers. Keegan also took her to the sex toy part of a Spencer’s store once and told her she would enjoy the devices.
The girl also testified that Keegan once slipped his tongue in her mouth while kissing her good night when she was only 12-years-old.
She said he was the only “father figure” she has ever had and that she would call him “grampa.”