Dawn did the cooking at Little Rascals and also helped with the children. She
was 23 and the single parent of a 19 month-old daughter when she was arrested.
She served 17 months in jail before her trial, under a bond set at $880,000.
Dawn was the second Little Rascals defendant to go to trial. After Bob Kelly's
conviction, the prosecuting attorneys offered Dawn a plea bargain through which
she would admit to several charges against her in return for serving a 10 year
sentence. Taking into account the time she had already served, that sentence
would probably not have amounted to more than a year of time actually served.
She refused the plea bargain. A second plea bargain was offered to her, while
the jury for her trial was being selected. This plea would have meant only
three months of additional time in jail. Dawn refused the second plea, and went
In January, 1993, she was convicted of five charges of child sexual abuse, and
sentenced to life in state prison in Raleigh, North Carolina.
She entered prison on February 4, 1993. On August 17, she gave birth to a son,
Zachary. Three weeks later, she was released on bond and placed under house
arrest, pending her appeal. She moved to Statesville, in Western North
Carolina, where she spent over two years living under house arrest.
Dawn's case was argued before the state court of appeals in January 1995, and
her conviction was overturned in May of that year. The Supreme Court of
North Carolina upheld the appellate court decision and shortly after that
ruling, her house arrest was lifted.
On December 16, 1996, all charges against Dawn were dropped. She lives in
Statesville, North Carolina and is a health care worker. She has since married
the father of her son.
Jan. 26 Sentenced to life in prison.
Feb. 4 Enters prison.
Aug. 17 Gives birth to son, Zachary, in jail.
Sept. 8 Released on $250,000 bond pending appeal. Under house arrest.