Glendale Montessori – Toward and Little Rascals cases

March 21, 2009 § Leave a comment

Glendale Montessori – Toward case
describes crimes

Headmaster’s evil lives on in 20-year-old abuse case By Jill Taylor Palm Beach Post Staff Writer 3/1/08 Stuart – Twenty years ago today, on a quiet street in a guard-gated Palm City community, investigators snapped handcuffs onto the wrists of a respected Montessori school headmaster and delivered a message the people of Martin County did not want to hear. Little children, lots of little children, were raped and defiled in unspeakable ways by a man some of the smartest and richest people in the community had trusted to care for their sons and daughters….Hours later, Toward’s office manager, Brenda Williams, turned herself in at the Martin County jail to answer similar charges. Four months later, Toward was charged with molesting and kidnapping five more preschool boys, and Williams was charged in four of those cases. Investigators later learned of up to 60 victims, most ages 2 to 5….Toward, now 77, pleaded guilty to molesting or kidnapping the six boys and was sentenced to 27 years in prison. He was released from his prison term on probation after 12 years, but has remained in custody under the state’s Jimmy Ryce Act, which allows confinement of sex offenders deemed a continuing danger to the community. Toward is challenging his commitment and maintains his innocence, saying his plea was only to avoid a harsher sentence. No date has been scheduled for a civil trial on the issue. He did not respond to a request for an interview. Part of Toward’s plea deal prevented prosecutors from filing more charges or arresting others they thought were involved when dozens more victims came forward later….”We found there were literally dozens of kids who were affected by this guy for a long time,” Colton said. “He spent his life manipulating people. He convinced people they could trust him with their children.” Ralicki expects she will be called to testify at an upcoming Jimmy Ryce hearing. She says she has no doubt that Toward still poses a threat to children. She can never forget what he did to the 20 or so children she treated….Williams pleaded no contest to sex and attempted kidnapping charges involving five boys, and was released from prison in 1993 after serving five years of a 10-year sentence. She could not be reached for comment, but is listed in records as owning a home in Vero Beach….
The psychotherapist Jeanne Ralicki, who treated many of the victims stated “There’s this whole underbelly of evil here that just oozes…Who wants to think that that exists in the world?”
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/

Little Rascals Day Care Center case
(describes crimes)

Closing Arguments in Child-Abuse Trial By Ronald Smothers, 3/24/1992 New York Times
Calling the operator of a day-care center who is the defendant in a child sex-abuse case an “evil, evil man,” the prosecution in the eight-month-long case began closing arguments today, painstakingly recalling children’s testimony that jurors had not heard since September…. Mr. Kelly, 43 years old, is facing 100 charges of sexually abusing a dozen children in 1988 and 1989 at the Little Rascals Day Care Center in Edenton, N. C., 60 miles east of here. Originally there were 248 charges involving 22 children, but the prosecution has withdrawn many charges while Judge D. Marsh McLelland of Pitt County Superior Court has dismissed others. Six Others Charged – Still, the case remains one of the largest child sex-abuse cases in the nation’s history in terms of number of charges and alleged victims. The case also involves charges against Mr. Kelly’s wife, Elizabeth, three adult employees of the center and two other adults. All have been accused of fondling, raping and sodomizing the children at the center….Testifying on his own behalf in January, Mr. Kelly said he never touched any of the children in a sexual way….Using 8-by-10-inch color photographs of each of the dozen children who testified, Mrs. Lamb recounted their own childish words in testifying about what “Mr. Bob” did to them. The words, which were children’s euphemisms for sex organs and body parts, seemed incongruous coming from the adult prosecutor, but with repetition even that incongruity served to highlight the horror of the allegations. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/24/us/closing-arguments-in-child-abuse-trial.html


Man convicted in N.C. child sex abuse case
M. Mayfield 4/23/92 USA TODAY
In April 1992, “Robert Kelly Jr. was convicted of 99 of 100 counts of rape and related crimes against children.” One of the mothers of the 12 children that testified against Kelly stated that she felt “overwhelming relief.” The six other defendants, including Kelly’s wife, would face trials later. The jury believed the children on the witness stand. One juror stated “the children were convincing.” Kelly and his supporters believed he was innocent. He was sentenced to 12 consecutive life terms in prison. The trial “included 83 prosecution witnesses and 60 defense witnesses.” The children had testified that Kelly had forced them to have different types of sex. The parents testified that the children exhibited abnormal behavior. “Twelve children, between the ages of 4 and 7, testified, and the results of physical and psychological tests of them were presented as evidence.” http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1002268.html

Day-Care Owner Is Convicted of Child Molesting 4/23/92 The longest and costliest criminal trial ever held in North Carolina ended today when the owner of a day-care center was convicted on 99 of 100 charges of sexually abusing 12 children there. After 14 days of deliberating, a Pitt County Superior Court jury found the 44-year-old defendant, Robert F. Kelly Jr., guilty of 4 counts of rape, 46 of taking indecent liberties, 36 of first-degree sexual offense and 13 crimes against nature. He was acquitted only of a single charge of taking indecent liberties with one of the 12 children....one juror, Dennis Ray, did speak to reporters, saying the panel had rejected the defense’s assertion of widespread hysteria and had believed the children. “The children were convincing,” Mr. Ray said. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/04/23/us/day-care-owner-is-convicted-of-child-molesting.html

Six months after Betsy’s release, the Appellate Court of North Carolina overturned the convictions of both Robert Kelly and Dawn Wilson, stating that there were legal errors by the prosecution. On May 23, 1997, the prosecution dropped all charges related to the Little Rascals case against the two.

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