Couple Wrongfully Imprisoned for Satanic Rituals Gets Paid

The Kellers will receive $3.4M after spending 21 years in prison
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2017 4:32 PM CDT
Couple Wrongfully Convicted of Satanic Rituals Gets $3.4M
Dan and Fran Keller pose outside of the Travis County courthouse in Austin. The Texas couple will receive $3.4 million from the state for being wrongfully imprisoned for more than two decades on prosecutors' claims they sexually abused children as part of satanic rituals at their day care.   (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

Dan and Fran Keller will receive $3.4 million from the state of Texas after being wrongly convicted of sexually abusing children during satanic rituals at their daycare and spending more than 21 years in prison, the Austin American-Statesman reports. According to CBS News, the Kellers were convicted in 1992 of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl and sentenced to 48 years in prison. They were released in 2013, had their convictions overturned in 2015, and were declared innocent in the eyes of the law in June. Since being released from prison, Fran Keller says it has been difficult to find work because of their ages—67 and 75—and wrongful imprisonment. “This means we don’t have to worry about pinching pennies ... and late bills," she says of the $3.4 million. "It means we will actually be free. We can start living."

The Kellers found out they were receiving the money from a state fund for the wrongly convicted Tuesday and picked up their checks Wednesday. “They are now compensated and no longer must fear homelessness or lack of health insurance,” lawyer Keith Hampton tells KXAN. “They are buying a home and can live out their lives in peace and quiet." The Kellers were accused by three children in 1991 of dismembering babies, torturing pets, and holding orgies at their daycare. The case against them fell apart two decades later when the doctor who found the only piece of physical evidence of abuse admitted it was the result of a mistake and recanted. The alleged victim also admitted she had no actual memory of being abused. Hampton says the couple fell victim to the "satanic panic" of the early 1990s. (More wrongful conviction stories.)

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