Today’s Independent reports:
A former mayor who “dedicated his life to Jesus” repeatedly sexually assaulted a four-year-old girl and blamed her for being a “willing participant”.
Richard Keenan, who served as mayor of Hubbard, Ohio, between 2010 and 2011, has been indicted with eight counts of rape and 12 counts of attempted rape and gross sexual imposition.
He pleaded not guilty last month, but prosecutors said he had admitted the assault to his wife, a pastor, a social worker and his brother and sister-in-law, as reported by the Youngstown Vindicator.
The period of assault, he reportedly admitted, spanned a three-year period, starting when the girl was four years old.
The child told his wife about the abuse and she confronted Keenan.
“I did it,” he said, according to court documents.
Keenan reportedly checked himself into a psychiatric facility as he felt suicidal. He told a social worker that he had started assaulting the child in September 2013 but that she had “initiated” the abuse, calling her a “willing participant”.
Spouses may testify if they wish under Ohio law, while the pastor will not be forced to testify about any admissions Keenan made to him.
In 2010, Keenan, who also worked for the city council in the 1990s and was a probation officer, told the same publication that he had “dedicated [his] life to Jesus”.
The former mayor will stand trial in April and has been released on $75,000 bail with the order to not have any contact with minors.
He faces life imprisonment.