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Woman Accused Of Ritual Abuse Files Appeal In Light Of New Evidence

Posted on in Family Law

For the last 20 years, Frances Keller has been behind bars. She and her husband were accused of practicing satanic rituals and sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl that came to the daycare the couple ran out of their Texas home. Christy Chaviers, the 3-year-old in question, told her mother in 1991 that Dan Keller, Frances' husband, had spanked her. Eventually, this claim morphed into an accusation of ‘ritual abuse' from Chaviers' therapist. Some of her friends also claimed that they were abused and included in satanic rituals, such as being baptized in blood, or holding a baby's heart that had been cut out of a body.

Eventually, Chaviers' recanted her testimony in court, saying that nothing bad had ever actually happened to her at the daycare. However, in the original lawsuit, prosecutors had other evidence to support the accusations: lacerations near Chaviers' hymen, a graveyard with disturbances noticed in infrared, and a ritual abuse expert's testimony.

The appeal filed in Travis County district court is questioning all of the original evidence. Aside from Chaviers' recanted statement, new medical science caused the doctor who originally claimed the lacerations on Chaviers' hymen were consistent with sexual abuse to change his opinion, stating they may have just been normal variants. The caretaker of the graveyard had told authorities that natural erosion or the addition of new dirt could cause them to look disturbed—a fact that was not passed on to the lawyers involved in the case. Finally, the testimony from the ritual abuse expert has been accused of manipulating his evidence in order to bolster his own career.

Although Frances Keller has been granted an appeal, nothing has been filed for Dan Keller. A detailed article explaining the new evidence can be found here.

If you or someone you love has been sexually abused, it is best to talk to a lawyer and learn what steps you can take. Especially when the abuser is a family member, legal action can become complicated. Our Texas firm will help walk you through the process, so contact us today.

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759