When Richard Keenan, above, became Mayor of Hubbard in Ohio in 2010 he vowed to add a liberal dose of Jesus to his office.
At the time, Keenan was quoted by The Vindicator as saying:
I’m a Christian. Dedicating my life to Jesus has changed my life.
‘Don’t preach it, but live it’ is a practice he takes to heart. That idea is wrapped up in wanting the best for his town.
This week Keenan, a former probation officer, found himself in The Vindicator again – this time under the headline “Prosecutor: Ex-Hubbard mayor admitted child rape guilt“.
The Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office said in a legal filing on Monday that Keenan admitted on several occasions that he raped and molesting a child over a three-year period – beginning when she was just four. Furthermore, he blamed the abuse on the girl.
Keenan, who served as Hubbard mayor in 2010 and 2011, has been indicted on eight counts of rape and 12 counts of attempted rape and gross sexual imposition. A rape conviction carries a sentence of life in prison.
According to the filing by Assistant Prosecutor Gabriel Wildman, Keenan, 65, made the admissions to his wife, a pastor, a social worker and his brother and sister-in-law.
Wildman’s filing states that when Keenan’s wife, Diana, heard about the assaults from the child, she confronted him and he admitted his crime.
The filing states Keenan also admitted sexual abuse during “group discussions” while he was in the ValleyCare Trumbull Memorial Hospital psychiatric ward.
The filing goes into extensive detail about each of the purported admissions.
It states that after Keenan voluntarily admitted himself into a Warren psychiatric facility after his release from Trumbull, he told a social worker that he was:
Feeling suicidal because he had been molesting the child victim for approximately the past two years.
During those discussions, Keenan blamed the victim for initiating the acts and called her:
A willing participant.
Keenan also had “in-depth” conversations with a pastor about the abuse.
Wildman has filed a motion asking Judge Peter Kontos to decide if those admissions – particularly by Keenan’s wife, pastor and medical personnel – meet the standards that permit their submission to a jury, or if the statements are privileged, meaning they could not be used in the trial.
Messages left for J Gerald Ingram, Keenan’s defence attorney, were not returned. A hearing on Wildman’s evidence motion has been set for January 20, 2017.
According to Rule 601 of the Ohio Rules of Evidence, a spouse is considered “competent to be a witness” against the other spouse “if the testifying spouse elects to testify.”
As for the pastor’s possible testimony, the Ohio Revised Code states that a member of the clergy cannot be compelled to testify:
If the confession or confidential communication was made directly to the cleric.
Keenan remains free on $75,000 bond. His trial is scheduled to begin April 24, 2017.
Hat tip: Angela_K and Peter Sykes