Former Mercer Island theater director pleads guilty to assault
A former Mercer Island youth-theater director who last year was accused of raping a teenager has pleaded guilty to two reduced charges involving assaults on a girl and her sister.
Seattle Times Eastside reporter
A former Mercer Island youth-theater director who was accused of raping a teenager has pleaded guilty to two reduced charges involving assaults on a girl and her sister.
Benjamin D. Keylin, 58, former executive director of Youth Theatre Northwest, pleaded guilty Friday to charges of second- and fourth-degree assault, which were filed in an amended complaint as part of a plea agreement.
Keylin is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 5 in King County Superior Court.
Keylin had been charged last December with third-degree rape and communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Neither of the charges involved members of the youth theater, according to prosecutors.
According to the new charges, Keylin was accused of assaulting two victims identified only by their initials on Nov. 19, 2007, and in other incidents between July 1 and Aug. 8, 2007.
The charges filed last year, however, alleged that Keylin had inappropriate contact on several occasions with the 16-year-old daughter of a friend. He also was alleged to have raped the girl's older sister, who was 18 at the time, according to the charges.
Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, said the charges against Keylin were amended because prosecutors faced potential problems proving the rape.
Keylin was fired by the youth theater after the charges were brought in December.
At the time, the theater said Keylin had been hired in 2003 after serving as a teacher and school superintendent and most recently had been marketing director for Empty Space Theatre in Seattle.
According to court records, Keylin had been convicted of assault in King County in 1991 after being arrested on suspicion of rape. Keylin also was the subject of a civil anti-harassment order in December after his ex-wife and her husband asked that a court prohibit him from having contact with his daughter.
Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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