On Sunday, local millionaire Bill McKell penned an open letter on Facebook admitting to allegations of child molestation.
Below is his letter in its entirety, which has since been deleted:
My name is Bill McKell and I am a child molester.
Every 12-step program begins with admission. I have been one who abused teenage boys. As far as I am able to tell, it is a disease of the mind not unlike alcoholism or drug addiction. It is a sickness that can never be cured or healed, only recovered from. That being said, there is no excuse for what I have done.
Over the last week, a police report that should have remained private has been spread all over social media. As one who has been charged with no crime and who has had no opportunity to present a legally-represented defense, I should be upset. I am not upset for myself since this social media wildfire has driven me to this admission. But I am upset that the names and pain of my accusers have been so publicly displayed and that a similarly horrific social media campaign could be waged against almost anyone.
But this one has been waged against me and I have something to admit. During my late teens, twenties and early thirties, I had inappropriate contact with a number of young men.
In 1996, I attended a spiritual renewal weekend that changed my life as I realized how truly sick I was. At that point, I committed myself to recovery. I would love to say I was instantly “cured.” I was not, but I am recovered.
I sincerely apologize and seek the forgiveness of each person I have caused to suffer hurt and shame. You were among my closest friends and I abused your friendship and betrayed your trust. I am truly sorry. I also wish to seek the forgiveness of your parents, spouses, children and any others who have suffered from the scars I have inflicted.
While I will vigorously defend myself from any false charges brought against me, I will direct my counsel to work cooperatively on any legitimate charge.
While recovery is challenging, I have learned that limits, control and accountability are key. Accountability has always been hampered by my fear of confession. One wonderful friend even gave me an opportunity to confess and, I hope, to receive forgiveness, but I was too much of a coward to seize the opportunity.
Accountability will be easier now that everyone around me is aware of my disease. It is the “everyone around me” that I must apologize to next. To my former coworkers and those who have defended me through the rumors and accusations because they could not reconcile the man they know with the man described, I thank you and I’m sorry. Please forgive me for letting you down. I am working hard to remain only the man you know. This admission finally gives me the freedom to get the professional help I need to assure that.
Finally, I seek mercy and grace from my family—immediate and otherwise. I am causing you much shame and pain and anguish. I am so sorry you are suffering for my sins. Please forgive me. I pray you will be given space to grieve.
I seek prayers for everyone I have hurt.