CSU Prof. Jailed Again In Child-Custody Battle

Catherine Keske Arrested Twice; Ex-Husband Complains Son Not Allowed Cellphone, Email

A Colorado State University assistant agriculture professor has been re-arrested on a contempt of court charge stemming from a bitter child-custody battle with her ex-husband.

Catherine Keske, 40, was arrested Monday night at her Fort Collins home in front of her 10-year-old son, who has special needs, said Amy Craig, a friend of Keske's.

Keske was held without bond Tuesday morning at the Larimer County Detention Center, a jail official said.

She will be transferred to a jail in Jefferson County, where a judge issued the new arrest warrant stemming from the contempt charge.

Keske was first arrested on Aug. 11 when Jefferson County District Court Magistrate Chris Voisinet ordered her to serve 90 days in jail for contempt of court in the civil child custody case.

Her ex-husband, Jeffrey Handley, had complained that Keske interfered with his ability to communicate with one of the couple's sons by failing to provide the boy with his own cellphone and an unmonitored email account, Westword reported.

The arrest highlights the contentious and costly 5-year divorce and child-custody dispute between the parents. Each parent has custody of one of their two sons.

Keske only spent four days in jail on the first arrest.

Another magistrate, Judith Goeke, ordered the woman released from jail, Westword reported. Keske said she was released after paying $1,700 that the court ruled she owed to Handley.

Last week, Keske told Westword she had learned that Goeke had ordered that she report to the jail by Aug. 27 or a bench warrant would be issued.

"I have a special needs child," Keske told the newspaper. "My 10-year-old son needs me. I am a productive taxpayer and am training students for productive careers. Any incarceration disrupts my job. All I'm trying to do is to get (Handley) to comply with the parenting orders."

Craig, Keske's friend, said: "This has just gone to the insanity level. The person who needs to be arrested is her ex-husband for not allowing her to see her son (who lives with the father) for two years."

Keske, a non-attorney who is representing herself in court, has filed a motion to allow her to see the son in Handley's custody, Craig said. A hearing on that issue is scheduled for Friday morning.

Craig said Keske, who is a professor and researcher on environmental management issues, has to act as her own attorney.

Keske has remarried and she and her new husband "have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (on the custody fight)," Craig said.

"They’ve mortgaged their home to the hilt. And if she loses her job because she's in jail for 90s days, she loses her house," the friend said.

However, Handley's attorney, Mechelle Faulk, said Keske is "the aggressor" -- not the victim -- in the custody battle, according to Westword.

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