|Photo by Susan Du|
|Jeff Anderson and Maria Mielke|
Formerly known as one Jane Doe out of dozens of anonymous clergy sex abuse accusers, 29-year-old Marie Mielke stepped forward Monday to tell her story of being groomed for molestation by the Rev. Michael Keating, who is currently still employed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Mielke says Keating initiated a string of unwanted sexual contact with her when she was just 12 years old. She didn't go into detail about the actual abuse, but she said he took advantage of her trust in him as a family friend in order to touch her inappropriately when they were alone. The official complaint against Keating alleges "sexual battery."
Mielke says she didn't know how to process what happened to her as a child until she was 19 years old, a college freshman taking a social problems class. She remembers sitting in the back of the class one day and reading a chapter about sexual abuse, mentally checking off the bullet points of all that applied to her own experiences with Keating.
"From that point on it was just this downward spiral," Mielke said, recounting the emotional turmoil of uncovering repressed memories from her early teenage years. "I remember being seduced by him at one point and I could see the [First National Bank] sign in downtown St. Paul flashing. Whenever I looked at that I would all of a sudden have flashbacks to something that I didn't understand. I would have trouble breathing. I would start crying."
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