Report Details Allegations Against Priest, Professor
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A police report obtained by WCCO details a Chicago County woman’s claims against a prominent Twin Cities priest and University of St. Thomas professor.
The woman claims he abused her starting when she was just 13 years old.
That report also details an accusation that the Rev. Michael Keating was investigated for being sexually involved with a 14-year-old Italian girl. Keating is now on a voluntary leave from his job as a professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas.
The police report includes the transcript of the woman’s interview with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Department where she details being molested. And it also details that officials at the highest level of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis were aware of the allegations involving a second teenager in Italy.
The 68-page report said Keating, then a seminary student and a friend of the Chisago County girl’s parents, was often an overnight guest at the family home.
The 2006 transcript said on as many as three occasions, Keating reached under her shirt and rubbed her breasts. On at least 25 occasions he would put his fingers in her mouth, and that once, while they were clothed, he pulled her on top of him and that his genitals were pressed against her.
An investigator also interviewed the girl’s uncle, a Catholic priest. The uncle said Keating had told him that he “had had a passionate encounter” with an Italian girl when she was “14 or 15 years old.”
The report states that the the Rev. Kevin McDonough, then Vicar General of the Archdiocese, investigated the allegations involving both the Chisago County girl and the Italian girl after the Chisago County girl went to the archdiocese in 2006.
The archdiocese ruled that Keating’s access to adolescents and young adults should be monitored and restricted. But he was then assigned to teach at the University of St. Thomas, where he lived on campus until this weekend. St. Thomas said it could not comment on what kind of monitoring and restrictions were placed on Keating.
The Chisago County Attorney’s Office decided in 2006 that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the case.
Chisago County Attorney Janet Reiter said she could not address why the case was not prosecuted because she was not in office in 2006.
The archdiocese also is not commenting and Keating’s attorney did not return our calls.
Back in 2006, the Chisago County Sheriff’s Department tried to interview Keating. According to the report, he initially agreed. But he then refused on the advice of his attorney.