(American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 10:01 PM
A man accused of raping two young girls was found guilty of a lesser charge Tuesday in 14th Judicial District Court.
Late Tuesday, Judge Wilford Carter found Ashanti Okung Kelley, 37, guilty of molestation of a juvenile, ending the afternoon-long trial.
Kelley was charged with three counts of aggravated rape and two counts of oral sexual battery.
He was accused of raping and molesting two of his girlfriend's young daughters in late 2012.
Kelley is to be sentenced July 10.
Prosecutors Lori Nunn and Shunette Jordan-Thomas said he faces 25 to 99 years in prison. They also said they plan to file a multiple felony offender bill.
Carter said the testimony of the two girls, now 12 and 10, was insufficient and corroborating evidence was lacking to convict him of the full charges.
On the charge he found Kelley guilty of, the older girl accused him of raping her on Nov. 24, 2012.
The girl said she told her mother about the incident when she got home, although it wasn’t until two days later that she was medically examined.
Both girls were examined on Nov. 26, 2012 by a sexual assault nurse, who testified in court that no physical signs of assault were found.
The mother said that when she arrived home from work, the girl was crying and said Kelley had raped her.
Carter said he believed that based on testimony, something had happened that day and that the younger sister corroborated that something sexual was going on in the household.
The mother said the younger daughter, now 10, accused Kelley first. Two weeks later the older daughter, now 12, accused Kelley, she testified.
The mother said she did not report the allegations because she “did not know what to believe” and because the girls asked her not to confront Kelley.
The mother said she continues to keep in contact with Kelley and as late as Friday told him she loved him.
Under cross-examination from defense attorney King Alexander, she admitted she had told people that she did not believe Kelley had committed the crime.
Both girls testified, although both were shy about taking the stand.
Posted By: connie On: 5/22/2013
why didn't they use video interviews rather than make these girls take the stand.