Nov. 9, 2011

“Fear recaptured the 9-year-old, much as it had six years ago when last he left Bob Kelly’s day care. Lingering fears gripped many of Kelly’s victims when the appellate court overturned his 99 guilty verdicts…. A week later, the little boy is still too frightened to ride his bike around the block….

“We forget the victims – unless we live with them. Our wounds from media distortions heal. Our memories of Kelly’s manipulation of ‘the system’ fade. But the genuine fears of our sons and daughters persist.

“What would you do if you knew your little ones had been sexually abused? Would you seek justice? Would… you be able to endure the years of trauma and persecution? We implore our fellow North Carolinians to ponder those questions…. Join us in requesting that the North Carolina Supreme Court uphold these verdicts.

“If the court denies the opinions of two separate juries that found both (Kelly and Dawn Wilson) guilty, the innocent victims will be under attack again. Do helpless child victims forget the brutality of rape, sodomy and crimes against nature? A more significant question is: Do we in North Carolina want to pry those agonizing details from them once more?

“True, many are old enough to realize that Bob Kelly can’t work his threatened evil to kill their families. But others still draw pictures of their visions of safety: pictures of heaven and guardian angels because they say, ‘I know Mr. Bob won’t be in Heaven.’

“We must take a stand against re-victimization of the innocent. Don’t interrupt the healing that is emerging in these courageous young ones. Refuse to allow the media to create a ‘circus’ in our noble state. Child sexual abuse can no longer be allowed or excused in North Carolina.”

– From a letter to the editor of the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot, signed by 17 parents of children involved in the Little Rascals case (May 14, 1995)

Buried in the Edenton parents’ heartfelt plea to the N.C. Supreme Court (which would soon agree with the Court of Appeals’ overturning the convictions of Kelly and Wilson) is this profoundly revealing question: “Do we in North Carolina want to pry those agonizing details from them once more?”

If only those details had not been pried from the children in the first place….