Fr. Austin Peter Keegan – Diocese of Santa Rosa

| Dec 20, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Austin Peter Keegan

Diocese of Santa Rosa

Ordained: 1962

Removed: 1982

Assignment History:

  • 1963-1967: St. Cecilia’s (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1968-1969: Epiphany (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1970-1973: St. Vincent De Paul (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1973-1975: Mary’s Help Hospital (Daly City, CA)
  • 1976: Unassigned
  • 1977-1979: On duty outside the Archdiocese (Diocese of Santa Rosa)
  • 1980-1981: Cathedral of St. Eugene’s (Santa Rosa, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Austin Peter Keegan:

Fr. Austin Peter Keegan was ordained a priest in 1962, who served in multiple dioceses including in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. According to media reports, he has been accused of sexually abusing at least 80 children within the last several decades. He was called “a monster” by a San Francisco Assistant District Attorney because of the large numbers of children he is said to have abused and because he used force. He was relieved of his priestly duties in 1982 and refused to return to San Francisco to face child sexual abuse allegations.

In a 1994 lawsuit, Keegan was accused of sexually abusing a boy at Cathedral of St. Eugene’s in Santa Rosa, California from 1979-1981, when the boy was 12-14 years old. Some of the abuse is said to have occurred in a diocesan car outside of St. Eugene’s school, and in the parish rectory. The suit (which involved multiple victims of multiple priests) resulted in a settlement for two victims in 1995. San Francisco and Santa Rosa church authorities apologized to the victims and their families.

According to media reports, in 2003, Keegan was named in a lawsuit for molesting a 14-year-old boy back in 1965. According to the survivor, the priest gave him alcohol and cigarettes, wrestled with him, and had him spend nights with him in the priest’s rectory bedroom.

Keegan was indicted on 102 counts of child molestation that involved 5 Bay Area children in the 1960s. According to media reports, Keegan was captured by the FBI the same year he was indicted and had fled in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he had been working at an orphanage. That year Keegan was one of the hundreds of individuals accused of attacking children who were freed after a U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down a California law that had extended the statute of limitations on child sex charges. Keegan may have been living in Oceanside, California since 1998.

Fr. Keegan was also accused of repeatedly raping a 10-year-old boy at the Disneyland Hotel, which was two months after Keegan said the funeral mass for the boy’s father, in 1967. The victim said he reported the abuse to the San Francisco Archdiocese and the Santa Rosa Diocese back in 1976.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Santa Rosa in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Santa Rosa now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Diocese of Santa Rosa, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.