THE SEVEN DEFENDANTS IN THE LITTLE RASCALS DAY CARE CASE

Betsy Kelly She grew up in Edenton where her father, Warren Twiddy, was a successful businessman in town. The Twiddys were active, leading members of the community until the Little Rascals case hit in 1989. Betsy had been friends since childhood with a number of the parents of the allegedly abused children. Her mother, Alice Twiddy, is a court clerk in Edenton and works just feet away from the files that contain the criminal charges against her daughter and son-in-law.

After Betsy's arrest in September 1989 her daughter Laura, then six, went to live with Betsy's sister, Nancy Smith, and her family. She remained with the Smiths for the two years that Betsy was in prison.

Many of the parents described their earlier (before the trials) impressions of Betsy as an extraordinarily warm and compassionate person, funny and easy to talk to. It was in part because of Betsy that the Little Rascals day care was the most popular and prestigious day care in Edenton.

In early 1989, the first complaints of child sexual abuse were lodged, all involving Bob Kelly. Most of the parents who had children at the daycare refused to believe the allegations and kept their children at Little Rascals. But gradually, more and more of the parents began to suspect that something had happened. By May, a flood of children were sent to therapy, and over the summer of 1989, most of the initial disclosures about the day care came out.

Betsy was arrested on September 1, 1989 and remained in jail for almost two years, her bail set at $1.7 million dollars. In the fall of 1991, one month into Bob's trial, her bail was lowered and she was released. After Bob's trial, she moved with Laura away from Edenton to her aunt's house in an adjoining town, under the terms of her bail.

In January, 1994, she accepted a plea of "no contest" and a sentence of seven years in prison. Since she had already served two years and two weeks in jail, she became eligible for parole after serving approximately one additional year in prison.

In October 1995, Betsy and Bob separated. Betsy moved back to Edenton, where she lives with Laura and her parents. She works as a paralegal at a law firm in Hertford, a town only a few miles from Edenton. Laura is now 14, and attends school with many of the children involved in the case.


Chronology Betsy Kelly's Case
1989  

Sept. 1 Arrested. Bail eventually reaches $1.8 million.

1991  

Oct. 4 Bond reduced from $1.8 million to $400,000.

Oct. 9 Released on bond.

1992  

April 23 Bob Kelly sentenced to 12 consecutive life terms.

1993  

Jan. 26 Dawn Wilson sentenced to life in prison.

1994  

Jan. 21 Pleas "no contest" to 30 felony charges and accepts sentence of seven years in prison. With two years and two weeks credit for time served, she is eligible for probation almost immediately.

Jan. 28 Begins serving her term in the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, Raleigh

mid-April Parole denied.

Nov. 28 Released from prison on mandatory parole.

1995  

Sept. 22 Bob Kelly makes bond and is released.

Oct. 29 Bob and Betsy Kelly separate.

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