Museum of Human Achievement
"...An appeal filed this morning in Travis County district court reopens an infamous chapter in Austin history and sets out to prove, once and for all, that former Oak Hill daycare operator Frances Keller was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault and has spent the last 20 years behind bars for a crime that never even happened...."
"...Nearly 21 years to the day that she was sent to prison for a crime that few still believe ever actually happened, Frances Keller on Tuesday evening walked out of the Travis County Jail, freed on a personal bond, and was greeted by a grown daughter eager to hug her mother after more than two decades of separation...."
"...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..."
"...Dear Editor, My sons went to Fran Keller’s day care [“Appeal Filed for Fran Keller," Newsdesk blog, Jan. 14]..."
"...After 21 years in prison, former day care owner Fran Keller was set to be released on a personal recognizance bond at press time Tuesday. Keller and her husband, Danny Keller, were convicted in 1992 of multiple counts of child sexual abuse at their Oak Hill day care center..."
"...When a child is sexually abused, there isn't necessarily physical evidence to prove any abuse happened. But whether the lack of any physical evidence of abuse is significant in the case of Fran Keller, convicted of sexually assaulting a child left in her care back in 1991, is a central issue in an appeal of that case currently pending in a Travis County court...."
"...A group of influential local family law attorneys, psychologists, and social workers have filed a court brief expressing their support for Frances Keller, who was convicted in 1992 of the sexual assault of a child – a crime that many, including the signers of the brief, believe never happened...."
"...A roster of leading psychologists and related experts from around the world last week signed on to a pair of letters in support of an appeal filed on behalf of Frances Keller, who was convicted of sexual assault and who has spent the last two decades behind bars for a crime that almost certainly never happened...."
"...Fran Keller was the first to spot her former husband, Dan, through a series of thick glass windows inside the Travis County jail, as sheriff's deputies readied him for release this afternoon. "That's him!" she said, waiting inside the jail lobby with her daughter, members of Dan's family, and the couple's lawyer, Keith Hampton...."
"...When a child is sexually abused, there isn't necessarily physical evidence to prove any abuse happened. The lack of any physical evidence of abuse is a central issue in the case of Fran and Dan Keller, convicted of sexually assaulting a child left in their care in 1991 – an appeal of that case is currently pending before a Travis County district court...."
"...A Chronicle reader has set up a GoFundMe page for Fran and Dan Keller, the local couple who were unjustly accused of child abuse in 1991, and who spent 21 years in prison for crimes that never happened. The Kellers’ continuing legal battle was the subject of our March 11 cover story, “Learning From Our Mistakes.” To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/thekellers...."
"...– Dan Keller, when asked his reaction to the news that he and wife Fran have been declared “actually innocent” by Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore of the alleged crimes they were convicted of in 1992, and for which they spent 21 years in prison..."
"...Following her release from prison last week, the first item that Frances Keller bought was a toothbrush. For more than two decades, she'd been allowed to use only a stubby, prison-issued brush that required her to stick nearly her whole hand into her mouth in an attempt to clean her teeth..."
"...When the little girl on the witness stand said, "No, it didn't happen," Frances Keller put her head in her hands and began to sob...."
"...In late December, Fran and Dan Keller were talking to a reporter in their small rent-house near New Braunfels, and quietly describing how it feels to have been released from prison after 21 years, yet still have so little freedom of movement or circumstance, or even quality of life. Their 1992 conviction on multiple counts of "sexual assault of a minor" – in the now notorious Fran's Day Care case – has effectively been overturned by a May 2015 Court of Criminal Appeals ruling "granting relief" to the Kellers on a single question of retracted medical testimony..."
"...– From the 1992 Austin Police Department investigative report of the Fran and Danny Keller child molestation case..."
"...Late on Nov. 26, just two days before Thanksgiving and nearly 21 years to the day that she was sent to prison for a crime that few still believe ever actually happened, Frances Keller walked out of the Travis County Jail, freed on a personal bond..."
"..."A 21st century court ought to be able to recognize a 20th century witch-hunt, and render justice accordingly." – from the appeal memorandum for Frances Keller..."
"...I don't know what it will take for Travis County to wipe the stain of the Fran and Dan Keller prosecution from our local history, but at a minimum, it appears it's going to take more time. As we've reported previously, in 1992, in the midst of the nationwide "Satanic Panic" over day care, the Kellers were prosecuted, convicted, and spent more than two decades in prison for horrible crimes at their Oak Hill day care center – crimes, it turned out, that had never occurred..."