Williamson County Jail
In August 2012, a Texas high school’s star football player, Greg Kelley, was handcuffed on school grounds and escorted off to jail. Though teens are known to cause their fair share of trouble, Kelley’s arrest was different.
The then-teenager was accused of molesting two 4-year-old boys at his best friend’s home, where his friend’s mother, Shama McCarty, ran a day care.
According to the Daily Mail, McCarty brought the alleged abuse forward to officials, and one of the 4-year-old boys’ parents suggested it might have been Kelley.
Police followed that lead.
Per the Daily Mail, one of the boys retracted his statements about the high schooler during the trial, but Kelley’s fate was decided based on the other boy’s statements.
In 2014, he was convicted of super-aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was then sentenced to 25 years behind bars.
But now, three years later, he’s a free man.
On Tuesday afternoon, Kelley was released from Williamson County Jail on a bond of $50,000. According to a Williamson County judge, per KXAN News, his case deserved to be presented to the Court of Criminal Appeals.
The Daily Mail reported that new evidence suggesting Kelley’s innocence is what prompted the push for a second look. In fact, the Austin, Texas, judge labeled the investigation into the alleged crime as “reckless and uninformed.”
Reports indicate that at the time of the incident, Kelley bore a resemblance to his best friend, Johnathan Ralph McCarty — the friend whose mother ran the day care center, who had access to the children as well:Williamson County Jail
Additionally, the Daily Mail reported that there was “no in-court identification of Kelley as the person who committed the abuse.”
Upon further investigation into the child molestation of which Kelley was convicted, Texas Rangers reportedly discovered that contamination between witnesses occurred and that the date of the alleged crime changed in order to line up with the days Kelley was at McCarty’s home.
Per the Daily Mail, Ranger Cody Mitchell testified about the varying dates of the crime:
“Greg Kelley was their suspect. They believed that Greg Kelley moved out of the house on that date, and they backtracked [the offense] a month, and month and a half, two months from that date that he moved out.
They were concentrating on time frames he was there.”
On Tuesday, District Court Judge Donna King ruled that Kelley’s right to the due process of law was violated, calling the initial police investigation “deficient.”
However, it was revealed in Tuesday’s hearing that Kelley not only defended his best friend, McCarty, when investigators inquired about him, but he also refused to cooperate with any investigation into him.
As a result of the incomplete probe into the molestation, Kelley was able to finally reunite with his family and girlfriend as he walked out of jail on Tuesday.
Per KXAN News, he told the crowd who gathered to see him:
“I’m so grateful to finally be out. I’ve been waiting for this day a long time.”
And he addressed the families of the boys who were molested, saying:
“I’m sorry, but I didn’t do that to your child. Someday I hope I can meet you and can explain that it wasn’t me. I just hope that they can have peace at this moment.”
As for their case, police have now officially named two suspects other than Kelley: an unnamed man and McCarty, who is currently in jail on drug charges.
Though Kelley is not officially off the hook and is still a suspect, his release was nonetheless celebrated as a victory by both his girlfriend and his family, who have stuck by his side.
The moment has come!! #GKisFREEToday!!! ??To God Be The Glory!!!
Posted by The GRK Foundation on Tuesday, August 22, 2017