women as rape victims have a hard enough time as it is just being believed.
New York woman whose testimony at age 9 jailed father for rape now says she lied
Chaneya Kelly, now 24, says she was coerced by her mother to lie about the charges against her father in 1997.
Now nearly 16 years later Kelly reveals that her mother allegedly threatened to beat her if she refused to accuse him of the crimes.
Nearly 16 years after a New York man was jailed for raping his 9-year-old daughter, that victim has publicly come forward admitting that she lied all along.
Chaneya Kelly, now 24, says the graphic stories she told about her father that sentenced him to 20-to-40 years in prison were never true.
"I'm 24 years old and I made this mistake when I was 9 years old," she told NBC, "but it's never too late to try and right your wrong."
It was October, 1997 when Chaneya says her mother, a former drug abuser and occasional prostitute for drug money, pulled her aside while she was leaving their bathroom in Newburgh.
"She repeatedly asked me, has my dad touched me," recalled Chaneya. "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'd later say.
But her 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."
Daryl Kelly, a father of five, is still in jail despite the fact that his daughter said she lied about the horrific accusations against him.
The 9-year-old succumbed to her threats, allowing her mother to call the police and take down her daughter's statements, after allegedly going over exactly what her father had allegedly done to her.
In a videotape capturing her recantation a few years later, she would admit that she learned words like "*****" and "******" from the prosecution team. She learned how sex worked from ****ography she found hidden under her parents' bed.
When Daryl Kelly was taken down to the police station on October 29, 1997, police confronted him with accusations of the heinous crime, while falsely claiming to have found his semen on his daughter's clothes and body.
Terrified, he denied having ever touched his daughter and pinned any blame on his wife.
"My wife is doing drugs and alcohol. Maybe she's setting me up," he said, according to the police report obtained by NBC.
Despite a lack of any forensic evidence supporting Chaneya's claims of sexual abuse, a jury found that her story, which matched her mother's, was enough to convict him.
Not only was he sentenced to 20-to-40 years in prison but he was barred from having any contact with his children as well.
A few years later Chaneya admitted what she had done to her grandmother who recorded her recant, seen here, but it was determined to appear 'coerced,' according to a judge.
Adding to the 9-year-old's trauma, she was removed from her mother's custody by authorities, citing her drug abuse.
It took long years of guilt to eventually drive Chaneya forward, admitting what she had done to her grandmother, who videotaped her recant.
Her mother, having sobered up over the years, signed an affidavit admitting to having threatened her daughter to lie as well.
Today, Charade Kelly says she doesn't know why she made her daughter lie about her father.
"I have no idea, I really don't," she told NBC.
She instead blames it on a three-day drug binge. "I was really deep in the grip of my addiction," she said.
The mother and daughter's testimony weren't enough for a judge, however, who said the statements offered seemed "coerced" and denied overturning his conviction.
Her mother Charade, pictured, acknowledges threatening her 9-year-old daughter with a belt if she did not say that her father raped her. She doesn't know why she did it, only blames it on her drug use.
Since then Daryl Kelly has filed multiple appeals that have been denied.
After Chaneya was permitted to visit her father in prison at the age of 16, she says she's been fortunate enough to renew their relationship after he accepted her apology.
A photo of the daughter's visit to New York's Green Haven Correctional Facility in January shows the pair together, Daryl Kelly holding Chaneya's newborn son, Julian.
Recalling the first time she was able to see him, she says he told her that he still loves her dearly.
"The first thing my dad did was that he hugged me and he told me that he loved me and … that he doesn't blame me for anything," Chaneya recalled. "It was priceless to me."
State prosecutors are said to be currently reviewing his case.
Daryl Kelly says that even if he serves out his sentence he won't be vindicated unless cleared of wrong-doing.
"It's not just for me," he told NBC, "It's for my daughter as well."
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