CARLTON COUNTY, Minn. (KMSP) - A former Minnesota casting director is being sent to Massachusetts to face charges for the sexual assault of a 14-year old boy, five years after the accusations were made.
According to court officials in Carlton County, Matthew D. Feeney will not fight extradition from Minnesota to Bristol County, MA.
The 48-year old man is currently serving time in a state correctional facility in Carlton County, after pleading guilty in 2013 to molesting two brothers in the Twin Cities. They were clients of his Bloomington talent agency, Walden Entertainment, where he casted children in movie and television roles. Feeney is serving a 9-year sentence in Moose Lake.
In Massachusetts, Feeney is charged with one count of rape of a child aggravated by age and two counts of indecent assault and battery.
Prosecutors allege the incident occurred while Feeney was visiting the home of the boy’s family in Norton, MA.
Feeney pleaded not guilty and posted $25,000 cash bail before returning to Minnesota in 2012.
The victim reported the alleged abuse soon after it occurred, but it has taken several years for the East Coast prosecutors to get to this point.
The victim’s family said circumstances beyond the control of the county attorney’s office have delayed a trial.
For instance, Feeney’s attorney at the time was J. W. Carney. He was representing James Whitey Bulger, a former organized crime boss from Boston. Bulger had just been captured after years on the run from murder and racketeering charges. Also one of only two judges in Bristol County was hearing the murder case of former New England Patriot, Aaron Hernandez.
“It’s a relief, we have been waiting a long time,” said the mother of the now 19-year old victim. “It’s important for the victim and his family to be allowed the right to closure and healing”.
BROTHERS SUING FEENEY
Feeney waived extradition just days before a civil trial in the Minnesota case is set to begin in Hennepin County court. Jury selection is scheduled to take place Monday morning.
The victims are now 21 and 16 years old. Feeney befriended the brothers and their parents in the fall of 2007 when he started giving the boys casting opportunities and acting classes. The abuse occurred at Feeney’s home when he had the boys over to coach them on acting skills, watch movies and play video games.
The mother of the Minnesota victims said she has been in contact with the Massachusetts family and is surprised at how long the process has taken.
"A child may only come forward once about sexual abuse. To have that much courage to stand up and let your voice be heard, that same child should then not have to wait 5 years for a trial to start to get a conviction,” she said. “The system provides laws that enable a serial molester like Matthew Feeney to manipulate their victims by using the judicial system to avoid accountability. All victims of Matthew Feeney deserve justice.”
She added she had no knowledge of Feeney’s past sex abuse convictions from 1992 when she met him. Back then, he was a camp counselor and Catholic youth pastor. He received probation and was sent to treatment for those crimes.
Feeney’s court-appointed attorney for the extradition process would not answer questions for this story. Fox 9 also left two messages for his attorney in the civil matter but the calls have not been returned.