Jan. 25, 2012

I’ve heard again from the anonymous caller who responded to my ad in the Elizabeth City Advance addressing children involved in the Little Rascals case.

The caller reiterated her certainty that she had been sexually abused by Bob Kelly, but – to my shock – she expressed doubts about the degree of involvement of other defendants, especially the young women who worked at the day care.

“I don’t hold any grudges against them,” she said. “I think he made them do whatever they did – it wasn’t on their own.”

Why then would these women choose to stay imprisoned, when testifying against Bob Kelly would’ve won them instant freedom?

“They were scared of him,” she said.

Does that seem probable? Or even conceivable?

Robin Byrum, 19 when she was arrested, spent almost a year in jail before her bond was reduced from $500,000 to $200,000. Meanwhile, her husband took care of their 7-month-old son.

In “Innocence Lost: The Plea” (1997), Byrum explained why she had been tempted by but repeatedly refused the prosecutors’ deal: “…. I would not ever have to be separated from my child again. But then I’d have to live with the rest of my life that I (said I) did something when I didn’t do it.”