After about 12 hours of deliberations, a jury late Tuesday night found Greg Kelley guilty of two counts of super aggravated sexual assault of two 4-year-old boys at a Cedar Park day care facility where he was temporarily living.
The sentencing phase of the trial will begin Wednesday afternoon. He faces a minimum of 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
Kelley, a 19-year-old former Leander High School football player, was also charged with one count of indecency with a child by contact. He was found not guilty of that charge.
Since the deliberations began at 11 a.m., Kelley — who had been free on bail — stood in the hallway and chatted with supporters and prayed with a circle of his friends.
By 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the jury had sent three questions to the judge during their deliberations saying they were having disagreements about testimony from the mothers of the two boys who made the accusations. The judge read them the testimony.
With no physical evidence, the case rests on whether the jury believes the boys’ accounts of what happened, lawyers have said. The alleged events happened last year at a now-closed day care facility in Cedar Park operated by Shama McCarty.
The first boy who said Kelley had sexually assaulted him also told a counselor that his mother walked into the room during the molestation and that a fight ensued — a sequence of events that everyone agreed didn’t happen.
The boy testified in court last week and repeated his initial allegation that Kelley had sexually assaulted him, but didn’t say anything about a fight.
The second boy who said that Kelley had made him touch Kelley inappropriately didn’t mention any abuse when he was interviewed twice by counselors. He only talked about the alleged abuse during a third interview by a Cedar Park Police detective. When he testified in court last week, the boy said that no abuse had happened.
During closing arguments Tuesday morning, attorneys argued about the believability of the boys’ accusations.
Prosecutor Sunday Austin said about one of the boy’s accusations: “What parent would possibly program their kid to make that statement?”
“What parent would possibly want this child to know about oral sex at the age of 4? What child has any kind of sophisticated knowledge of such a thing?” she asked.
Defense attorney Patricia Cummings said a psychologist had testified that if parents and authority figures repeat allegations made by preschool children to the children, it increases the likelihood of the children making false statements.
She said the parents of the first boy who made the accusation talked to him about it about eight times before reporting it to police.
Prosecutor Geoffrey Puryear also mentioned in closing arguments that Kelley had falsely told a gym owner that he was a sniper in the Marines and had served in Afghanistan.
“We are not talking about telling a lie, we are talking about living a lie,” said Puryear.
Cummings defended what Kelley told the gym owner. “What would an 18-year-old say to people that he’s doing with his life when he’s expelled from school and faced with charges?” she said.
Greg Kelley case so far
July 8: Trial starts, with prosecutors saying that without physical evidence, case rests on 2013 sexual abuse accusations by two 4-year-olds.
July 9: The two children testify. One recants, denying he was abused.
Thursday: The defense challenges the way an officer interviewed one of the children about the allegations.
Monday: Kelley takes the stand, denies any abuse.
Tuesday: Jury begins deliberations.