Saratoga County jury decides notorious criminal with escape history shouldn’t be freed

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A Saratoga County jury has found that notorious area criminal Joel O’Keefe is predisposed to sex offenses and should not be allowed to go free.

The jury took just over an hour to reach its verdict, which came in Friday afternoon.

O’Keefe has been held in a secure psychiatric facility since he approached and propositioned several women in 2018 shortly after he was paroled from prison for his 1994 burglary and attack of a woman. He escaped from police while he was awaiting sentencing in that case, and twice tried to escape from prison.

He was on trial this week as lawyers from the New York State Attorney General’s Office told a jury that O’Keefe “suffers from a mental abnormality that predisposes him to commit sex offenses.” The jury’s verdict showed they agreed.  

Judge Dianne Freestone will schedule a hearing to decide what will happen to O’Keefe now. Her options range from supervised treatment to confinement in a secure facility.