Former Watonwan County Sheriff Commits Suicide Amid Child Molestation Probe

A former sheriff with Watonwan County has killed himself amid an investigation into allegations that he sexually molested two girls.

According to the investigative files from the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office, a mandated reporter alerted authorities on August 29th that Jack Keech of Madelia had allegedly molested the girls a number of years ago, starting when they were in 4th and 2nd grades respectively.

Both alleged victims gave similar stories about him touching them sexually. One said Keech told her that he wished that he could be younger and she could be older so they could get married.

After talking with the girls, Blue Earth County investigators brought Keech in for questioning on the morning of September 15th. Investigators say he admitted to one allegation, saying he did touch the girl’s genitals on purpose and knew what he did was wrong.

Later that day, authorities were alerted that Keech had committed suicide. He was 83 years old.

Based on the investigation, Blue Earth County detectives say they would have recommended charges of 1st and 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct.

The two victims have reportedly turned to cutting themselves and one made a suicide attempt.

Keech served as the Watonwan County Sheriff for eight years and as a deputy for 16.

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