A Mt. Pleasant man was charged Wednesday with exchanging lewd messages with what he thought were children but were actually part of a nonprofit conducting an online sting.
Aaron Keeney, 41, was identified as a man in a video taken last weekend by PCI: Predators Catchers Indianapolis, who traveled to Mt. Pleasant to film what was set up as a meeting between Keeney and a fictional 7-year-old girl named Victoria at the Mount Pleasant Target.
Once inside the store, members of the organization approached Keeney and confronted him as he exited the store and walked towards what appears to be the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel on South Mission Street . The meeting was broadcast live on Facebook.
“I want to have a conversation with you, Aaron,” a woman in the group said to a man they identified as Keeney. “I’ve been talking to you for weeks.
The man repeatedly said he was not Aaron Keeney, while another male member of the group told the man he knew he was Keeney because, among other reasons, ” You look guilty, you look sad, you look scared.” Minutes later, the man in the group said Saturday’s encounter was supposed to be between the man identified as Keeney and a 7-year-old girl and they had chat logs to prove it.
The band members attempted to get Keeney to identify himself and asked him to remove the paper mask he was wearing so they could compare the person they were talking to to the photos they said they had of Keeney. The man identified as Keeney said he had to leave.
The confrontation continued for several seconds before the woman asked the man identified as Keeney to identify the name of the girl he had been talking to.
“Trinity,” he said. Court records identify Trinity as a fictional second daughter who Keeney eventually told police he had sent lewd messages to. Fake Trinity’s age has been identified in court records as 13.
The confrontation continues for about half an hour, when officers from the Mt. Pleasant Police Department show up. After several minutes sorting out what happened, officers escorted the man identified as Keeney and the group in line to the Mt. Pleasant Police Station for interviews. CPI members told officers they had detailed chat logs, including obscene photos they said Keeney sent to their decoys.
Keeney was arrested on Tuesday and arraigned on Wednesday on three counts of accosting a minor, a four-year felony and three counts of using a computer to commit a felony, also a felony of four years. A hearing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on March 17 to determine whether Keeney will stand trial.