Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Back in action: (12): Catch-up; Fran and Dan Keller; Texas; A setback: Judge Flowers rules that their lawyer has failed to establish actual innocence. His recommendation now goes to Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Reporter Chuck Lindell; American-Statesman.

STORY: "Judge Flowers: Dan, Fran Keller did not prove innocence in 1991 case," by reporter Chuck Lindell, published by the American-Statesman on December 1, 2014.

GIST: "Dan and Fran Keller, former Austin day care operators convicted of sexually abusing a young girl amid allegations of conducting satanic rituals that included grave robbing and torture, should not be found innocent of the 1991 crime, a state judge recommended Monday. " The Kellers, arguing that they were the victims of inept therapists, shoddy police work and a now-discredited belief that secret satanic cults were abusing day care children nationwide, have asked the Texas courts to declare them innocent of the crime. But Senior District Judge Wilford Flowers, who presided over the Kellers’ 1992 trial and is overseeing their appeal, issued written findings Monday that said the Kellers had failed to provide solid proof of innocence. Flowers’ four pages of findings will be forwarded to the Court of Criminal Appeals, which will make the final decision about the Kellers’ fate. Although it does not have to follow Flowers’ recommendation, the appeals court typically gives deference to findings from a lower court.........The case against the Kellers began in August 1991, when a 3-year-old girl who had been to the day care 13 times in the previous four months told her mother that Dan Keller had hurt her. The girl’s therapist later drew out details that included Dan Keller sexually assaulting her with a pen. Mouw testified that he found two tears and a fissure in the girl’s hymen — the only physical evidence of sexual abuse in the case. Mouw recanted early last year, saying that what he had identified as tears were instead normal variations in pediatric hymens — information he learned years later at a medical seminar. The Kellers were convicted of sexually assaulting the girl, though two other boys — both under age 6 — also accused them of molestation. Under questioning by therapists, police and their parents, the recollections of the three children expanded to include bizarre rituals — orgies with robed adults, desecrated corpses, murdered babies and sacrificed animals. Hampton has argued that an unqualified therapist who believed in satanic ritual abuse tainted the recollections of two of the day care children and that police interviews of the children were grossly mishandled with leading questions and suggested answers. But Flowers said such “impeachment evidence” did not establish the Kellers’ innocence or prove that a juror would not have convicted them if presented with the new evidence. Flowers also rejected: • Four polygraphs recently passed by Dan Keller, 73, and Fran Keller, 64, saying such tests are unreliable. • Examinations by mental health professionals who determined the Kellers did not have sex-offender tendencies. Flowers said the conclusions did not apply to their conditions in 1991, when the allegations were made."

The entire story can be found at:



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