Lawsuit Alleges Abuse By St. Thomas Priest
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WCCO’s Susie Jones Also Contributed To This Post
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) – A woman is suing a university priest and professor in St. Paul for alleged sexual abuse beginning when she was 13 years old.
The civil lawsuit against the Rev. Michael Jerome Keating of the University of St. Thomas was filed Monday in Ramsey County.
Jeff Anderson is the attorney for the victim.
“We are seeking to see that he is removed, and exposed, and kids to not be at risk,” Anderson said.
Anderson had a member of his staff read a statement from the victim.
“Coming to terms with the fact that I was sexually abused by Father Michael Keating, has been the most painful experience ever,” the statement read.
Anderson says the woman was sexually abused from 1997 and 2000, when Keating was a 42-year-old seminary student. She allegedly told the Archdiocese in 2006 and was told there was not sufficient evidence to take action.
The lawsuit accuses Keating of “unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual contact” with the woman between about 1997 and 2000.
Anderson says the woman filed the suit because of new accusations that the Church has covered up sex abuse claims.
“When she heard and saw what was reported in the last week, she said, ‘I cant keep this any longer. I have to do something more than what I did,’” Anderson said.
Keating did not return calls to his office phone or emails Monday seeking comment. St. Thomas spokesman Doug Hennes said Keating went on voluntary leave Sunday, but he wouldn’t say why.
Archdiocese spokesman Jim Accurso said he couldn’t immediately comment.
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