Sources have uncovered that a Minnesota man who is suspected of raping and waterboarding his girlfriend for three days in her dorm room allegedly sent foreboding messages to an ex-girlfriend after she filed for a restraining order against him.
Before reportedly holding his most recent girlfriend at St. Catherine University, an all-girls institution in St. Paul, captive and subjecting her to horrifying torture after growing upset over images on her phone, Keanu Labatte, 19, allegedly displayed disturbing behaviour with a past partner about a year earlier.
He allegedly wrote to his previous victim, who was 17 at the time, on the music streaming service Spotify, “Don’t blame me for what happens next,” days after she had been served with a restraining order prohibiting all contact.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” Labatte wrote. “Can I call you? I still love you.”
On November 18, 2022, the horrified kid dialled 911 after getting the terrifying messages while at Yellow Medicine East High School. She revealed to the officers that Labatte had left the spooky notes on her playlists.
He was detained for violating a restraining order on one misdemeanour count and freed after posting a $2,000 bond. Labatte was sentenced to a year of probation five months later with the understanding that the charge would be dropped provided he remained trouble-free.
However, according to court documents, Labatte’s current, much more heinous case has violated his probation and put his plea agreement in jeopardy.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Labatte went to his girlfriend’s dorm on September 7 to spend the weekend with her.
But he quickly found social media posts, photos, and texts that “infuriated him,” and the visit took a terrible turn. Labatte is accused of tearing off her clothes, raping, and beating the woman after giving her hickeys in a consenting manner.
“He also used two hands on her neck to strangle her and threatened to kill her, while calling her a slut,” according to the court document. “She thought she was going to die.”
The visibly alarmed victim reported to police that Labatte had made death threats against her family and “reminded her that she knew what he had done to a prior girlfriend, which was to hold a knife to her throat.” It wasn’t immediately obvious if he meant the ex who had filed for a restraining order against him.
Her mattress is said to have been moved to the floor by Labatte so he could rape the woman several times without her neighbours being aware of the assaults.
The victim said that dread had paralysed her.
On September 9, Labatte allegedly made her lie down in the bathtub, covered her lips with a wet washcloth, and poured water from a bucket over her face. This is when the torture allegedly reached a new level.
“On that same day, he took a knife and threatened to cut [the victim’s] veins so that she would die and no one would help her,” the affidavit says.
She was allegedly punched by Labatte five times: once in the face, twice in the throat, and four times in the stomach.
On September 10, the college girl convinced her captor to let her leave the dorm so she could obtain lunch for them from the cafeteria. She received her mobile back from Labatte, but he insisted she take a picture as proof of her arrival.
Instead, while Labatte contacted her mobile repeatedly, the victim ran to the university’s security office and asked for assistance. Inside of Labatte’s residence hall, police detained her. He only said one thing once his rights were read to him: “I plead the Fifth.”
Three counts of criminal sexual conduct, one count of domestic abuse by strangling, and one count of threats of violence are brought against Granite Falls resident Labatte. The alleged predator is being jailed on a $80,000 bail and must appear in court once more on October 9.
Catherine Turner, Labatte’s public defender, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.