Fran Keller to Be Released from Jail

Agreement allows former day care owner to post bond

Frances Keller
Frances Keller (by Jana Birchum)

Nearly 21 years in prison, Fran Keller will be released from prison today. The former Austin day care owner was convicted of the sexual abuse of a 3 year-old child in her care. Keller had maintained innocence throughout her incarceration, saying she was a victim of the nationwide scare about satanic ritual abuse.

In August, the Keller case had returned to a Travis County district court because of a lack of physical evidence in the case. The sole testimony attesting to physical evidence was supplied by a then-new emergency room doctor, Michael Mouw. Mouw later stated that what he thought were injuries caused by sexual assault were in fact "normal variants" of female genitalia.

While the Travis County District Attorney's office is not fully supporting Keller's claims of innocence, an agreement will allow Keller to post a personal bond, facilitating her release from the Travis County Jail. Her husband Dan, also imprisoned, could be released from prison as early as next week.

The Chronicle's Jordan Smith has been following the case since 2008. A more detailed story will be posted to the Newsdesk blog later in the day.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More News
The AggreGAYtor: June 1
The AggreGAYtor
What happened today in gay? Here’s your QILTBAG recap of queer news.

David Estlund, June 1, 2015

The AggreGAYtor: May 29
The AggreGAYtor
What happened today in gay? Here’s your QILTBAG recap of queer news.

David Estlund, May 29, 2015

More by Brandon Watson
My Obsession: Therapy With Nineties Supermodels
My Obsession: Therapy With Nineties Supermodels
Escape via the long gay tradition of diva worship

Sept. 15, 2017

Review: Holy Roller
Review: Holy Roller
The personal is edible at Callie Speer’s new hot spot

Sept. 8, 2017


News, Fran Keller, wrongful conviction, Dan Keller, satanic ritual abuse

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle