Priest Sent E-mails Expressing Love to Girl Who Says He Abused Her
By Tony Kennedy
October 17, 2013
[the emails - Jeff Anderson & Associates]
[Jane Doe 20 statement]
The University of St. Thomas priest accused of sexual contact with a young girl expressed love and affection for her in deeply personal e-mails he sent her from Rome when she was 14 and 15 years old.
“Be really sure that I love you lots and lots and never think of you without a smile coming to my mind,” the Rev. Michael J. Keating wrote in one of at least 19 e-mails he sent in 1999 and 2000.
He addressed her in three separate e-mails as “Dear Sweetheart” and teased her about boys her age.
“I’m afraid you are going to have to get used to being hounded by boys,” wrote Keating, who was then 44 and studying to be a priest. “You’re too pretty and too charming not to be and you’ll only get prettier and charmier as the years go by.”
The e-mails, which the girl’s mother has described as “quite seductive,” were made public Thursday on the website of her attorney, Jeff Anderson of St. Paul. He said the writings were presented as evidence seven years ago in a church review of his client’s sexual abuse claims, but high-ranking officials in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis disregarded them. The church sided with Keating, and the woman maintained a public silence about her case until she sued Keating last week, alleging three years of harmful sexual contact that caused her deep psychological trauma.
Asked for comment, the archdiocese did not respond immediately.