"The conduct that you displayed is very disturbing. Not only was it troubling that you were targeting these [13-year old] girls for sexual activity. These are children themselves Mr. Kangas [who was 20 years old at the time]...And you took advantage of that situation and exploited them for sexual purposes. And when the police came to you, you tried to get out of it by giving them false identities...
It's very troubling Mr. Kangas - the behavior you displayed and the targeting of these young children. And not only target them but to have sexual intercourse with them and then encourage them to get pregnant.
The behavior you displayed is vile. These were children..."
From transcript of sentencing of Keegan W. Kangas by Judge James P. Lambros, Sault. St. Marie. July 29, 2014
(a) In the Summer of 2016, I began writing as a 'penpal' to the inmate Keegan William Kangas (born October 13, 1992, and currently incarcerated in the MDOC Ojibway Correctional Facility, Marenisco, in the western Upper Peninsula): immediately, he told me that he had been wrongly convicted in June 2014 of two CSC3 charges, i.e., sexually abusing children.
As he convinced me that he was innocent and a victim of an injustice, and also detailed the hardships he suffered (e.g., defending himself against predators, having no visits, receiving few letters and being in poor health), I wanted to help him especially as I was impressed by what seemed to be his stoical courage and determination: I therefore began to regularly send him money and buy books for him (I later discovered that other people had sent him money/books but stopped doing so when they no longer believed his claims.) Additionally, I campaigned for his freedom (the original purpose of this webspace that I bought), and spent many hundreds of hours on this (e.g., emailing and telephoning MI attorneys to find one who would take on his case pro-bono
), and a lot of my own money, e.g., I spent $140 to purchase his trial transcripts, and paid for a paralegal course to help him as he said that he would seek exoneration once released.
I obviously view child abuse as totally abhorrent, and particularly so, as I was sexually abused as a child when my mother was ill and I was placed in a children's home but because of this, I also believe that no one should be accused of such a heinous offence if they are innocent, and Kangas succeeded in convincing me (as he had done with others) of his innocence.
(b) Until the Spring of 2017, I was certain that he was an innocent, sincere and hard-working
man entrapped, through no fault of his own, in a nightmare world of a terrible injustice, and I believed what he told me about the case (e.g., he barely even knew either of the two children who had accused him). However, by April, I began to have doubts about some of his claims as they seemed far-fetched. The whole illusion was terminated abruptly on May 12, 2017 when I came into contact with someone who had also once believed his claim of innocence, but stopped doing so after seeing the content of his old Facebook account* (to which he had given her access, apparently thinking she would not care about the evidence, or not see it as much was archived). This person allowed me full access and to my dismay, I found messaging that revealed he knew both children very well, and it also confirmed the sexual abuse of both of them* (there were also references to him pursuing other under-aged girls and further serious criminality.*). The account included a message in which he harangued one of the children because she had told someone about the sex and he warned her, almost prophetically, her action would "put me in prison".*
Additionally, and confirming what was stated in the trial, one message recorded him telling the same child that if he made her pregnant, he "would be the happiest daddy ever."* She was only 13 years old
. With a display of appalling narcissism, there was a message from him saying
"if we had a kid together, it would b[e] the most gorgeous thing on earth". I found the behaviour described to be grotesque, and no less grotesque was the comment made by one of the children that, after she reported the abuse to the police, Kangas had 'sent people after' her,* apparently to intimidate her into silence (Presumably he did the same with the other child who testified against him as there would be no point intimidating only one of the two witnesses.) Later on, in an email, he said that he believed it was 'natural and normal' for a 13-year old girl to have sex with a male 'a few years older', and this was none of the State's business, and he challenged its right to incarcerate him (it is unclear why he referred to a partner 'a few years older' as this hardly applied to him as he was 20 at the time: in fact when one of the children was abused, he was 21 that same year.)
* The genuineness of the messages can be demonstrated by the accompanying IP addresses.
(c) The messaging not only referred to the sexual abuse, but the appalling treatment of the two children. Unlike his co-defendant, who 'took a plea', Kangas insisted on a trial so both children had to intimately describe the crimes to a courtroom of strangers, resulting in one child being reduced to tears. No wonder the prosecution told the jury: "Keep in mind the bravery and courage it took [for] the girls to testify. They're with one individual that did not display bravery and courage. That's the defendant, Mr. Kangas. The girls were brave. He was a coward" (June 19, 2014. 2/2, p18).
Kangas repeatedly told me that four prosecution witnesses had all lied when they said he was found by Police at his workplace in Sault Ste. Marie, late at night on February 9, 2013, with a 13-year old girl. However, on reading his Facebook account, I found messages, by him and others, confirming that the witnesses were
telling the truth. I even found messaging between him and his attorney in which he confirmed this visit by the Police. I was, therefore, suddenly confronted with the stark reality that he had repeatedly lied to me - about almost everything regarding his case - and I had wasted so much of my time, energy and resources on this matter. He still claims to be innocent (by offering 'red herrings' and leapfrogging pseudo-arguments), but he cannot provide a believable solution for the presence of evidence: instead, he constantly blames others for his predicament.
(d) I originally felt sorry for him as he said it was his poverty that caused his conviction, i.e., he was unable to hire his own attorney: however, in May 2017, I saw an email in which he said that he had spent thousands of dollars on drugs, and paid $1600 on jewellery, during the time leading to his arrest and trial: and in his Facebook messaging he referred to buying clothing and a bill of "over 2 grand" (the money spent on just the
clothing and jewellery would have been sufficient to retain his own attorney.) Furthermore, with regard to the defence attorney provided, in one Facebook message (March 18, 2014), he told her "I know your [sic] one of the best trial lawyers around", so money, or a lack of it, was not a contributory
factor to him being convicted.
I also realized that despite all his complaints about his life before and during incarceration, he was raised in a beautiful part of the US and had positive opportunities that many people do not have, myself included. Despite what was available to him, he chose to pursue a route that took him to prison, and as far as I am concerned, he alone
is the architect of what has happened to him. I later became aware of two previous incidents in his life that resulted in police action. One, when he was a boy and he set fire to a neighbouring property, resulting in a large fine. Then, when he was 17, he was convicted for a drug offence. This means that with the two CSC3 charges, by the time he was 20, he had been involved in four different criminal acts: furthermore, while in prison, before the June 2014 trial that convicted him of the CSC3 charges, he was involved in theft from another inmate (that was confirmed by an appeal hearing
). In sum, by June 2014, he had been involved in five
criminal acts. Additionally, his
Facebook account detailed further criminal activities.
I found messages in his Facebook account relating to dishonest claims, apart from an appalling treatment of girls/young women. Messages included those from people who wrote and condemned him for his relationships with under-aged girls: for example, two in January 2013, when one said she would inform the police and this would result in him being imprisoned, and the other wrote and accused him of being a paedophile. The reply to this was a nonchalant and dismissive "LOL" (this and "LMAO" appear in replies to criticisms sent to him about his behaviour with children.)
NB. He referred to the charges as 'consensual sex'. This is absurd as, obviously, no child can consent to sex. In fact, 'CSC' actually stands for 'Criminal Sexual Conduct'
(e) The Facebook messages recorded one of the victims referring to his frequent lying, and his own ex-fiancée told me about this too, as did his family and other people who had written to him in prison: even the trial Judge (see box above) mentioned his lying. Furthermore, his Facebook account included him making various claims that sometimes border on the fantastic (He once told me that he had cancer as a child: however, his family say this is untrue.)
His Facebook account included him telling various people that, for example, he had attended high school and graduated: however, he did not do this. He also said that he had been adopted but his family confirm this too is untrue. In respect of his financial status, he claimed that (i)he earned $2000 a week and (ii)intended buying a $30,000 property; (iii)he was a part-owner of an auto business, and (iv)would be purchasing it in its entirety; (v)he had owned his own large two-storied house, and (vi)he had also saved "over 10 grand". Furthermore, in 2013, he said (vii)a prestigious music college had accepted his application to enrol (claiming he achieved this by just submitting some videos of himself), and (viii)it had awarded him a $20,000 scholarship.
And yet, in complete contrast to these assertions, he was classed as indigent when attending court in the first half of 2014. With regard to the college that he said had accepted him, its website says it only accepts applicants (1)with an "excellent academic and professional background" - but he had neither; (2)who supply an academic transcript or GED - but again, he had neither, and he did not obtain a GED until 2015 when he was in prison; (3)after they have a successful personal interview and/or audition - but I found no record of him ever visiting the college or making the journey there (it is located four States away from MI): there can be no doubt that he would have mentioned these events in his Facebook messaging if they had ever occurred. In view of the Facebook content and what I was told by his family and past acquaintances, I came to the conclusion that much of what he had said to me (and others?) was sheer fantasy.
(f) In the matter of his case, he told me all the prosecution witnesses had lied, but his Facebook account showed otherwise. After studying the court transcripts and reading all his emails on the matter, as well as speaking with him
many times, I consider what he offers are diversions and smokescreens to obscure the evidence.
In addition to him falsifying data, he asserted that evidence was 'suppressed' and the jury was 'threatened' to produce a guilty verdict. Apart from him not substantiating these allegations (and other claims he frequently makes), there is the question of why he never
of them in the post-trial hearing or appeal, even when he was given the direct opportunity (on more than one occasion) by the court to do so. I investigated them and found they lacked credibility. Moreover, after I spent a lot of my own time and money in contacting many hundreds of MI attorneys, I found three who were willing to assist him, but, to my bewilderment, on each occasion he did not follow their advice or even contact them...
(g) As other people, who were convinced of his supposed innocence and supported him, but came to realize they could not believe his claims, I too recognized that I could not believe what he had told me about his case (or indeed much else), and I had to accept the jury's verdict of 'guilty' was correct. Consequently, in view of this and the examples in (e) above, I realized there was no sense in continuing to write to someone who behaves like this. I did however write to him in June 2017, advising him of what I had found, but despite the support I had given him for nearly a year, and how he had consistently misled me, all I received from him were furious threats: there was also the complete absence of any believable explanation for what I had found and been told by people who had known him before his incarceration...
Following his incarceration (when, ironically, he has depicted himself as the target or victim of sexual pursuit by other inmates), he slandered various people with serious accusations that portrayed him as the victim (that, bizarrely, were invariably sexually-related) when they did not do as he wanted, his lies were discovered and/or they exposed him, and he did this in respect of his ex-girlfriend, myself and other penpals. For example, when his girlfriend, who supported him before and during his trial, did not do as he wished, he accused her (more than once) of transmitting an STD to him, which he later admitted to me was a lie. It is troubling that he slanders people, and he does this even though they have helped him and they
are (therefore) the aggrieved party.
In late 2017, I heard from another penpal who told me that she had also stopped communicating with him because she had realized that he was "trying to use me for sexual purposes": she added that she hoped no one else would "fall for his act like you and I did." This should be sufficient warning to anyone who may consider writing to him. At the sentencing on July 29, 2014, the Judge told Kangas that the sentence imposed was "to serve as a deterrent effect and an opportunity to rehabilitate your behavior and curtail this issue that you have of targeting young women" (p.9). However, I certainly saw no evidence of this happening.
At the April 2014 plea offer hearing, Kangas was warned that if he did not plead, but chose a trial and was found guilty, he faced a sentence of up to 45 years. Despite the fact he declined to plead and elected for trial, and this found him guilty, he ended up with a sentence of not 45 years, but 5-15. This means he is eligible for parole in December 2018 after 5 years - a far cry from the 45 year sentence about which he was warned. With this and him using the prison email system to dupe people while incarcerated, some might feel he has made a complete mockery of the Michigan legal system...
(h) I sincerely hope this article will serve as a 'warning buoy'. More information could be added but I trust that enough has been provided to prevent anyone else from being deceived as I, and other people have been (I can produce copies of all the Facebook messages/emails to which I have referred.) For succinctness, I have removed the considerable amount of specific data on this website that detailed my post-May 2017 findings: however, this may be restored if circumstances demand it, e.g., he again uses the internet to find 'penpals', an activity that invariably seems to involve deception.
Due to the odious nature of the crimes, the trial cost, the distress caused to people, the lies and how he has behaved since incarceration, I hope the MI Parole Board will recognize the degree of risk if he is paroled at an early date. At the time of writing this, he is a Tier III, non-compliant sex offender and I believe that the people of MI deserve a very lengthy period of rest from this individual being in their midst again.
Thank you for reading this.
London, England. March 5, 2018
Considering the problem of sex offenders generally, it should be noted that articles (that do not seek to present a negative picture of sex offenders being released), refer to a worrying degree of re-offending. For example, the summary-abstract for 'Sexual offender recidivism risk: what we know and what we need to know', by Hanson, Morton and Harris (Ann N Y Acad Sci., July 2003. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632), states that studies had typically found "sexual recidivism rates of 10%-15% after five years, 20% after 10 years, and 30%-40% after 20 years." Moreover, another article noted re-offending figures are "conservative" because many sex offences are not reported or detected: indeed, one review shows it is almost impossible to determine actual recidivism rates as the majority of sex offenses are not reported.|
This article adds that one study dealing with recidivism rates found child abusers "remain at risk to reoffend long after their discharge", and there is a "marked underestimation of recidivism rates." Additionally, a review in 2003 by the American Psychological Association stated "research demonstrates that even sexual offenses against children that occurred long ago evince a continuing risk of recidivism by the offender" (My emphasis).
The Center for Sex Offender Management states "About 12 to 24% of sex offenders will reoffend".
Furthermore, if the offender has ASPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder), e.g., is a sociopath, who will be incapable of normal human emotions (e.g., he/she will not feel any guilt), the likelihood of re-offending will of course be far higher.
It is because of these factors that I believe sex offenders should serve at least 65% of their maximum sentence and only be released after satisfactorily completing all the courses provided by the prisons that deal with preventing further offences.
* If anyone requires further information, please email me at the address below.