Victim of Clergy Sex Abuse Reacts to Mcdonough's Deposition
April 25, 2014
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - From his home in the Twin Cities, Al Michaud watched the deposition of Father Kevin McDonough released to the news media Thursday.
"It is it a little tough," said Michaud as he watched the video." A little tough."
That's because in 1993, Michaud went to Father McDonough -- a top church official then -- to tell him that Father Jerome Kern had sexually abused him in the 1970's when he was 15. The priest allegedly reached inside Michaud's bathing suit while swimming.
"That's sexual abuse isn't it?" asked attorney Jeff Anderson. McDonough replied, "I certainly would report that to the police today." '
You didn't report it then, did you?" asked Anderson. "I did not," replied McDonough.
McDonough testified he did not report it to police because he was told they wouldn't investigate because it happened so long ago.
He did, however tell Anderson he checked with an outside expert to see if what Michaud described was sexual abuse.
"The question at the time was did that in fact constitute child abuse? Now, its years later and I think we all have a greater clarity about those things," McDonough said in the deposition.
Michaud was critical of that decision.
"You're a man of God, you need someone outside of the church to tell you if this is abuse or not?" he said.
Father Kern stayed in the ministry, finally being removed nine years after Michaud came forward. McDonough did claim in the deposition he advocated for limiting Kern's work in the ministry.
Yet Michaud can't believe why no one pursued his accusations more aggressively.
"It hits hard. Really, you determined what happened to me wasn't abuse," he said dumbfounded.
Michaud filed a lawsuit against the archdiocese which was settled out of court.
Calls to McDonough's attorney were not returned.