In 2010, newly elected Hubbard, Ohio mayor Richard Keenan spoke candidly about his religious values with the Youngstown Vindicator:
“I’m a Christian. Dedicating my life to Jesus has changed my life. Don’t preach it, but live it.”
In 2016, former Hubbard, Ohio mayor Richard Kennan is facing multiple counts of rape for repeatedly sexually assaulting a young girl over a three-year period, starting when she was four years old.
Mr. Keenan has been charged with eight counts of rape and 12 counts of attempted rapes and gross sexual imposition. The 65-year-old former civil servant plead not guilty during a court appearance last month, but prosecutors insist that he admitted to sexually assaulting the girl to his wife, a pastor, a social worker, and his brother- and sister-in-law.
According to court documents, he came clean to his wife after the girl told Mrs. Kennan first.
Mr. Kennan admitted to the abuse during a group therapy session, then checked himself into a psychiatric facility because he was suicidal. In the facility, he admitted the abuse to a social worker. He is said to have told the social worker about the rapes in detail and describing his victim as a “willing participant.”
Prosecutors have filed a motion asking Judge Peter Kontos to rule on whether or not the admissions of guilt can be presented to the jury as evidence. There is a possibility they may be ruled as privileged, because Mr. Kennan only admitted to raping the little girl to his wife and to people who are bound by the ethics of privilege.
In Ohio courts, privilege is taken very seriously and that seriousness may ultimately swing in Mr. Keenan’s favor. If the confessions are labeled privilege, then they are inadmissible. According to Ohio law, a spouse is not required to testify if their husband or wife is the defendant in a case. Clergy cannot be compelled to testify if confessions or confidential statements are made to them. Social workers and therapists are bound by privilege rules that populate medical ethics.
It is very possible that while Richard Keenan has confessed to repeatedly raping a young girl, those confessions could be ruled inadmissible, making the attainment of justice far more difficult.
Justice for a young victim of a man’s sick perversions may come down to whether or not a judge believes privilege should be suspended. That’s a disturbing notion.
Featured image via YouTube.
h/t Raw Story