Former Hubbard Mayor Richard Keenan receives life in prison for raping a four-year-old girl over a period of two years.  

Sixty-six-year-old Keenan appeared for sentencing Monday before Judge Peter Kontos in Trumbull county common pleas court.

Keenan avoided trial when he pleaded guilty to eight charges of gross sexual imposition, eight charges of rape, and four of attempted rape. 

 Keenan was returned to jail to await sentencing after the prosecution requested that his bond be revoked.

A long and emotionally-charged letter from the young victim's mother was read in court by Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman.  The mother wrote of her daughter's bravery.  "That little girl was able to do what so many other children struggle to do, and that is to be fearless and have the courage to stand up against her abuser," the mother wrote.  

Keener, who also served on city council was known in Hubbard for passing out candy to everyone he met, and he called himself the candy man. 

Judge Peter Kontos told Keenan his abuse of a child that he knew and who trusted him was despicable and heinous.  

Prior to sentencing, the judge asked Keenan is there was anything he wanted to say.

 "I  wish to apologize to everybody I hurt. I deeply regret my actions.  I pray that they have peace in their heart and I'm very sorry for what I've done," Keenan said. 

Wildman said in cases like this it's important for all children to not be afraid to speak up. "We can't help them if we don't know about it. Obviously, the sooner they tell the better and that's harder in situations where the perpetrator is a trusted individual," said Wildman.

Keenan would be eligible was possible parole after serving 10 years. In that case, he would be required to register as a Tier 3 sexual offender.