More than a decade and a half after a New York man was taken to prison for raping his 9-year-old daughter, the victim says she lied about the charges.
Chaneya Kelly, who is now 24, said the graphic stories she told about her father that sentenced him to 20-40 years in prison were never true, according to the New York Daily News.
Kelly said her mother, a former drug abuser and occasional prostitute for drug money, pulled her aside while she was leaving their bathroom in Newburgh, N.Y., in 1997.
"She repeatedly asked me, has my dad touched me," Kelly said. "I was like, 'What do you mean, did he touch me?' And she was like, 'Did he touch you in your no-no spot?' And I would repeatedly say no."
Her father, Daryl Kelly, a Navy veteran and married father of five, had been trying to kick a drug habit himself at the time but never harmed her in any way, she would later say.
However, Chaneya's mother, not hearing what she wanted, became demanding until allegedly threatening her: "If you don't tell me the answer that I want to hear, I'm going to beat you."
Chaneya now wants the world to know about the horrible lie she says she told that cost her father his freedom.
“I'm 24 years old and I made this mistake when I was nine years old,” Chaneya told NBC News. “But it's never too late to try and right your wrong. “
Daryl Kelly has always maintained his innocence.
“All I think is, ‘One day the truth will set me free,’” said Daryl Kelly, from Green Haven Correctional Facility in upstate New York. “All I have to do is hold on.”
There was no definitive forensic evidence that Chaneya had been raped. A doctor's report concluded that there was "possible sexual abuse" because of some redness, but Chaneya’s hymen was intact even though she claimed her father had penetrated her.
With Chaneya and her mom telling police the same story, it was enough for police to charge Daryl Kelly with multiple counts of rape and sodomy.
Daryl refused a plea deal that would have made him eligible for parole in six years, and within a year he faced a jury. Based on his daughter’s graphic testimony, it took them just hours to find him guilty and he was sentenced to 20-40 years and barred from having any contact with his children.