Peru man charged with imprisonment, sex crimes in Florida

Jeffrey Keowin
Published: .
Updated: .

An Indiana native was arrested in Florida on several charges, including false imprisonment and sexual battery.

Jeffrey Keowin, formerly of Peru, Indiana, was arrested on five counts of false imprisonment, two counts of sexual battery and one count of human trafficking. The charges stem from incidents related to people who were living with Keowin, police say.

Investigators say Keowin took advantage of victims who are either underage or have some type of mental disability, who he met in Indiana and allowed to stay at his home in Clearwater, Florida.

Keowin allegedly took control of his victims' finances, which were government benefits in most cases, and would not allow them access to their money or to leave the residence without permission. Police say he verbally threatened the victims and also slapped, punched and kicked them.

One of the victims was reportedly forced into prostitution and Keowin collected the proceeds. He also tried to force two other victims into prostitution.

Keowin is also charged with forcing a minor female resident to engage in oral sex with him and is charged with the sexual battery of a 20-year-old man with a mental disability.

Anyone who may have information on this case, or believe that the suspect is involved in more cases, should call Clearwater Police at 562-4242.