MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A woman came forward Monday to publicly discuss her allegations of sexual abuse against a Catholic Priest in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Until she spoke out, she was known as Doe 20.
Mary Mielke said she chose to tell her story the same day her lawyer, Jeff Anderson, released all the information he was able to get from the Archdiocese about Father Michael Keating.READ MORE: None Hurt After Minneapolis Crews Battle 5 Fires Over 8-Hour Period
The information became public last November after another person, known as Doe 1, sued the Archdiocese for mishandling sexual abuse allegations and won their case.
“I have no reason to hide, I was a little girl who was innocent and who looked up to who I thought was a holy man,” Mielke said.
Mielke said she hopes more victims will come forward.
“The shame that I carried is not mine to carry, it’s his,” Mielke said.
Mileke said Father Michael Keating sexually abused her, beginning when she was a teenager between 1997 and 2000.
Meilke said she did not recall or understand what had happened until she was an adult.
“I felt so ashamed that I wanted to die,” Mielke said.
Mielke said she tried to tell the Archdiocese what happened in 2006, but top members of the clergy, including Vicar General Kevin McDonough, discredited her.
McDonough and the Twin Cities Archdiocese are also defendants in the civil lawsuit filed in Ramsey County in October 2013 on behalf of Mielke by her attorney.READ MORE: Man Dies After Dispute Leads To Shooting In North Minneapolis
Mielke said after years of therapy, her life in now full.
She is now 29 years old and married with two children.
Mielke said healing is an ongoing process, but she wants others to know healing cannot begin until the truth is out in the open.
Keating has been on leave from the Archdiocese since October 2013, when this lawsuit was filed.
Keating also resigned from his faculty position at University of St. Thomas, which he held since September 2005.
Keating’s attorney told WCCO Monday that they deny these allegations.
Father Kevin McDonough’s attorney had not returned phone calls as of Monday evening.
A spokesperson for the Archdiocese said they could not comment on ongoing legal matters but said in a statement that Keating is on leave pending an internal investigation.
Mielke’s lawsuit asks for $50,000 plus other fees.
Mielke’s attorney is trying two other cases involving sexual abuse misconduct in the Twin Cities Archdiocese in late January.MORE NEWS: St. Paul Woman Charged With Murder After Ex-Husband's Body Found Buried In Backyard
The Archdiocese has said in recent months the addition of more possible victims and cases may prove to be such a financial burden that the Archdiocese will have to file for bankruptcy.