They were labeled "satanic" daycare owners who murdered babies, held orgies involving children, took kids to Mexico to be raped by military officials, and forced others to drink blood. They each spent 21 years in prison based on those lies, reports the Intercept. But after 25 years, their names have finally been cleared. Texas couple Fran and Dan Keller were exonerated of the sexual assault of a child Tuesday after Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore filed a motion to dismiss their cases. While noting that some accusers don't agree with her decision, Moore said "no credible evidence exists that inculpates the defendants," who are "actually innocent" of the crime for which they were each sentenced to 48 years in 1992, per the Austin Chronicle.
The case began when a 3-year-old girl who visited their daycare said she'd been spanked by Dan, now 75. Questioned by her mother and a therapist, the girl went on to tell of rape and orgies. After more children came forward with increasingly outrageous claims, the Kellers were convicted based in part on an ER doctor's opinion that the girl suffered a vaginal injury that had possibly resulted from sexual abuse. They were only released from prison in 2013 after the doctor testified he'd made a mistake, having learned at a medical conference that genitalia with that appearance is normal. He says he tried to share his error with the Austin PD years prior but was dismissed; lawyer Keith Hampton worked on the case pro bono for six years to bring about the exoneration, which makes the Kellers each eligible to receive $1.7 million from the state. Read about another case with similar themes here. (Read more Texas stories.)