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Ex-cop, child rapist nabbed after 20 years of living under dead relative’s name

Joseph Keenan May has been wanted since 1991 on child rape charges.  He was just busted in Alaska living under his dead stepbrother’s name.
Joseph Keenan May has been wanted since 1991 on child rape charges. He was just busted in Alaska living under his dead stepbrother’s name.Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Joseph Keenan May, 60, a former cop from Florida who’s been wanted by authorities since being accused of raping a six-year-girl in Bradenton, Fla. in 1991, was arrested by the FBI at his Eagle River, Ala. home on June 22. May had been living under an assumed identity – that of a dead stepbrother, Michael Camp, who died when he was a teen in the 1970s.

May obtained his deceased stepbrother’s Social Security number prior to fleeing to Alaska from Florida in the early 1990s, according to The Anchorage Daily News. Under that stolen identity, May had applied for an Alaska driver's license and also applied for unemployment insurance benefits while in Alaska. He’d been living under his dead stepbrother’s name for more than 20 years.

Born in Mississippi, May moved to Florida where he served as a deputy sheriff and road patrol deputy from 1988 through 1990. May was accused of raping a six-year-old girl multiple times and at multiple locations between 1970 and 1977 in Manatee County, according to The Bradenton Herald.

According to a Florida police report regarding his child rape accusation, “May admitted to oral sex and told investigators that he fondled the victim. But he denied intercourse.” May was arrested in 1990 in Florida, remained in jail for a few months before getting out on bail, but had already fled Florida before his March 1991 trial on capital sexual battery charges.

May has been wanted under a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution since 1993. Applying for a driver’s license and unemployment benefits in Alaska under his assumed identity finally led authorities to May’s whereabouts, according to CNN.

"Sometimes Alaska draws people who want to run away from things," Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Bradley told CNN affiliate KTUU.

"We find that there's an inordinate amount of fugitives here. It's unusual for somebody to be able to run so long, but eventually he got caught."

The elusive ex-cop is now charged with two counts of unlawful use of a Social Security number and aggravated identity theft. Authorities in Alaska will be holding onto May to be tried on those charges before turning him over to officials in Florida so he can finally be tried on his sexual battery charge.

According to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney's Office, May is looking at a possible 12 year prison sentence in Alaska for his federal charges of unlawful use of a Social Security number and aggravated identity theft. After being extradited to Florida to face child rape charges, May could be looking at the death penalty in the Sunshine State.