Without any physical evidence, Williamson County prosecutors told a jury Tuesday that they will have to decide whether they believe two 4-year-olds who accused Greg Kelley — a former Leander High School football star — of molesting them at an in-home daycare in 2013.
“The child stays steadfast; he never wavers as to who did this to him,” prosecutor Sunday Austin told the jury about the first child.
That boy told his mother in July 2013 that Kelley had sexually assaulted him twice at the daycare in Cedar Park. The incidents were believed to have occurred weeks earlier, and physical evidence was impossible to obtain, prosecutors said.
A second 4-year-old stepped forward weeks later while investigators were questioning the other children at the daycare. That child said Kelley made him touch him inappropriately.
The defense immediately called into question the credibility of the witnesses, telling the jury that parents and investigators asked leading questions and that interviews were not always conducted properly.
In one video shown to the jury, the first boy is questioned by a forensic interviewer at the Child Advocacy Center of Georgetown, which specializes in interviewing children who have been victims of crimes. The child describes his mother walking in while Kelley was assaulting him and that a physical altercation ensued. The child describes how his mother was angry and that Kelley punched the boy in the chest, showing the interviewer the spot.
That is an event everyone agrees never happened, the defense said.
“There are no questions about if this was a mistake,” said defense attorney Patricia Cummings. “It’s not an investigation. What took place was investigators did everything they could to confirm that [Kelley] sexually abused this 4-year-old. They asked confirming questions.”
However, the first boy’s parents said they hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary with their son until he brought up the abuse in casual conversation.
Forensic investigator Jennifer Deazvedo testified that it is not uncommon for children that age to retreat into fantasy when talking about troubling topics. During the interview, she said she believed the boy was telling the truth about the fight that never happened.
“It’s a difficult case because you are relying on two very young, naive little people that should never be in this process,” Austin told the jury.
Kelley, 19, was arrested in August 2013 and charged with aggravated sexual assault and indecency with a child, both second-degree felonies that each carry a sentence of two to 20 years in prison.
At the time of his arrest, Kelley was a senior football player at Leander High School. He was living with a family who ran the in-home daycare because both of his parents were hospitalized. His father had suffered a stroke, and his mother had a brain tumor.
The facility, run by Shama McCarty from her home on Marysol Trail in Cedar Park, was shut down during the investigation of the abuse allegations. The Department of Family and Protective Services investigated and found that the daycare had not done background checks on everyone living at the home, including Kelley. It also was found that the daycare had twice the number of allowed children and that there was sufficient evidence that a child had been abused.
The daycare will not be eligible to reopen for five years.
Friends and fellow football players have rallied around Kelley. The courtroom was half full Tuesday with teens wearing blue and red ribbons in support of Kelley.