Kelley child abuse sentencing begins

Date: 2006-11-27

Monday, November 27, 2006 - by Rebecca Palsha

Wasilla, Alaska - They are accused of burning, beating, and slapping their five adopted children two years ago. Now, Patrick and Sherry Kelley will soon learn how much time they will spend in jail for those allegations.

Their sentencing is expected to last two days. Sherry and Patrick Kelley have already spent two years in prison, and now a judge will decide whether that is enough time served.

Sherry Kelley was asked by prosecutors whether it was her opinion that the kids greatly exaggerated her abuse and she replied it was.

Kelley was arrested in Sept. 2004 and faced 54 charges of child abuse, including assault, reckless endangerment and kidnapping. All but three of the charges were eventually dropped, and today at her sentencing she told an Anchorage Superior Court judge that any abuse suffered by the children was not due to her.

"A.K. put holes in the walls of the bathroom. J.K. broke the shower wall in," Sherry Kelley said.

The initials of the children were used to protect their identities as juveniles. She claimed the children were out of control and painted a picture of abusive children who had to be protected from each other. Kelley said she locked the oldest boy inside a wooden box in order to prevent him from sexually or physically abusing his siblings.

"It was a wooden box, probably about eight feet long and a foot high," Kelley said.

Kelley went on to say she locked herself and the other children in a dog run.

A judge will determine whether her behavior is protective or abusive; that decision could lead her to serve to up to six years in prison. Sentencing continues tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Both Patrick and Sherry Kelley have already served two years' prison time for the child abuse charges. Patrick Kelley could be sentenced for time served and released; however, Sherry Kelley faces an additional abuse charge, and could be sentenced an additional six years in prison.


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