Greg Kelley protests draw more attention and scrutiny

GEORGETOWN, Texas — For the first time, supporters of the victim in the Greg Kelley case in Williamson County are making their voices heard — adding to the growing community outrage.

The 19-year-old was sentenced earlier this month to 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old child. The sentence came as a punishment agreement between prosecutors and Kelley’s defense.

The jury found him guilty of the crime and could have given him anywhere from 25 years to life in prison. The agreement to 25 years also meant he couldn’t appeal.

Monday, supporters of Kelley and his innocence wore orange, and they sat in silence outside of the Williamson County Jail.

“We’re hoping that Attorney General Abbott or Governor Perry will pay attention to this,” said Doug Douglas, a supporter of Kelley’s. “We’re not asking them to make a leap to say that they think Greg is innocent, we just want them to say ‘Hey, there’s enough holes here. There’s enough red flags here that this deserves a second look.’”

Across the parking lot, people dressed in teal were supporting the victim in the case.

Janet Heimlich is the director of the Child-Friendly Faith Project, a group that advocates for victims of such abuse. She did not go to the demonstration Monday night, but says demonstrations like that of the Kelley’s supporters, especially when members of a church or faith community are involved, are harmful to victims.

“I think that maybe they don’t have a full appreciation of what kind of impact that can have when you have very public rallies in support of someone who has been convicted of sexually abusing a small child,” said Heimlich.

Kelley was convicted of sexually abusing the 4-year-old at an in-home daycare. Kelley was living at the home during that time, and he maintained his innocence during the trial.

“We definitely don’t want to see any child ever harmed,” said Douglas, “but we just don’t think that the case has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that Greg is the guy that did this.”

Douglas says they want to get the right person behind bars.

Kelley and his new attorney announced Friday that they will file a motion for a new trial. A motion for a new trial has to be filed within 30 days of sentencing, meaning Kelley has a little more than two weeks to do so.

The court has up to 75 days to consider granting it. That means a judge would decide if Kelley got a fair trial the first time around.

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