As we told you about earlier this week, renowned priest and St. Thomas professor Michael Keating is being sued by a woman who claims she was sexually abused by him when she was a teenage girl.
Yesterday, the lawyer representing the woman, longtime Catholic sex abuse whistleblower and St. Paul lawyer Jeff Anderson, published 54 pages' worth of emails Keating sent her while he was studying in Rome in 1999 and 2000. According to the alleged victim, the kiss Keating gave her just before he departed for Europe was her first.
At the time, Keating was in his mid-40s and the girl was 14 or 15 years old.
The well-written emails have a friendly and fatherly tone, but sometimes veer into creepy territory. For instance, in one, Keating writes, "I'm afraid you are going to have to get used to being hounded by boys... You're too pretty and too charming not to be and you'll only get prettier and charmier as the years go by." Another email ends with Keating sending "A kiss and a hug." Many end with him professing his love for the girl.
The emails often intermingle Christian gobbledygook with flirtatiousness.
"OK, my almost fifteen year old young and pretty find," Keating writes in one of them. "Easter is almost upon us, Christ has banished darkness and flood the world, every sorrow has been taken up on that cross and been put to death, and new life springs forth all around us."
You can read all 54 pages' worth of them here.
The alleged victim, now in her late 20s, claims Keating would molest her while reading books to her at her family's house before he took off for Rome.
"I would be abused behind the book, behind Narnia," she told MPR.
She says Keating's abuse resulted in her becoming suicidal while she was in college.