Stepfather's Sex Trial Based on '70s Incidents

Associated Press, carried in Daily Press (Newport News, VA)
March 21, 1998

A George Washington University professor charged in May with molesting his two stepchildren more than 25 years ago has lost his attempt to have the charges dismissed and will be tried.

Eugene Walter Kelly Jr., 61, an ex- Roman Catholic priest, was indicted by a Virginia Beach grand jury on four counts of crimes against nature, one count of taking indecent liberties with children and one of carnal knowledge.

The charges first came to light in August 1996 when Kelly's stepson from a previous marriage spoke to police, prosecutor Bob Dautrich said. The stepson's sister soon came forward with similar allegations against Kelly.

Defense attorney Andrew Sacks challenged the indictment Wednesday in Circuit Court, saying the charges were too old. Sacks said he knew of no other case with such a long delay between the alleged crimes and the charges.

During the delay, Kelly started a new life in Alexandria with a new wife and family and a new career at George Washington's school of education.

Suddenly, out of the blue comes this," Sacks said. We are all being held hostage if some individual can come forward with (old) allegations and is able to get a forum."

Judge A. Bonwill Shockley denied Sacks' motion to dismiss, saying Virginia does not have a statute of limitations on felonies. Kelly's trial is set for April 6.

Shockley took under advisement another motion to suppress Kelly's statement to police.

Kelly is accused of molesting his stepchildren from 1972 through 1976, when he was living in Virginia Beach and teaching education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. His stepdaughter was 12 and his stepson 14 when the alleged molestations began.

Dautrich said the stepson came forward after so long because he was concerned for his children's safety. The stepson said Kelly indicated an interest in getting to know them.

In November 1996, the mother of Kelly's stepchildren taped a telephone conversation in which he allegedly admitted to sexual acts involving the stepchildren.

They were evil, corrupt, terrible things to do," Kelly said, according to a transcript of the conversation that is part of the case file.


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