Deborah Keely appeared before District Judge Theodore Michaels Thursday and declined to have the charges and evidence against her presented in open court. Instead the case has now been passed up to the Chester County Common Pleas Court in West Chester where Keeley will be arraigned at a hearing scheduled for August 8.
Keeley is one of three defendants in a case made public by the Chester County District Attorney in mid-July.
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan's office announced the arrests of Warren Earl Yerger, Leslie Yerger, and Deborah Keeley on July 12. They are charged with sexually abusing three girls and one boy who were in his care from 1989-2012. Warren Yerger faces more than 500 criminal charges.
State Police investigators say the children were as young as 3 when the crimes started in 1989. The District Attorney says the abuse took place in Chester County, Berks County, McKean County, and Montgomery County.The assaults went on for decades and included hundreds of incidents, Hogan said.
According to the District Attorney's office Warren Yerger "sometimes told people that he was saying nightly prayers with two of the victims, then would lock the door to their rooms and sexually assault them. He also told one victim that he 'would beat the evil out of him [the victim].'”
The three defendants are charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, and related charges.
"Defendant Warren Yerger has been charged with every legally appropriate charge for sexually abusing these children," Hogan said. "There is no charge that exists for it, but he ought to be charged with murdering the childhood of these victims.”
Warren Yerger is being held in lieu of $1 million bail in Chester County Prison. Leslie Yerger and Deborah Keeley are being held on $500,000 bail each in Chester County Prison.
Keeley's defense attorney asked the court to reduce the bail to ten percent of the $500,000 bail in cash. The judge denied the request calling the charges against Keeley and the Yergers among the most heinous he has seen in 18 years on the bench.
The Yergers appeared in the same courtroom on Wednesday and also waived their rights to their preliminary hearings. The Yergers are next due in Chester County Common Pleas court in mid August.