A New York woman says that 16 years ago, her mother pressured her to lie and say her father raped her.
Chaneya Kelly was 9 years old when she says she told the lie that sent her father, Daryl Kelly, to prison. He's still incarcerated to this day. This week, she told NBC News she is doing all she can to get him freed.
“I'm 24 years old and I made this mistake when I was 9 years old,” she told the network, “but it's never too late to try and right your wrong. “
Chaneya Kelly was living with her parents in Newburgh, N.Y. in 1997, when she says her mother, Charade, repeatedly asked her if her father had touched her inappropriately. When the girl kept saying no, her mother allegedly said, "If you don't tell me the answer that I want to hear, I'm going to beat you."
Finally, the girl told her mother her father had indeed raped her. Her mother called the cops, and the 9-year-old told them the same thing. According to NBC, there was no physical proof the girl had been raped, but the similarities between the stories of the mother and daughter was enough for a conviction.
Daryl Kelly refused a plea deal and was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison. Six months after the conviction, Chaneya told her grandmother it was all a lie. Her mother also signed an affidavit stating she had threatened to beat her daughter unless she told cops her father raped her.
The judge, however, said the statements seemed "coerced," and the conviction was not overturned. Over the past 16 years, Daryl Kelly has filed multiple appeals, but they've all been denied.
The prosecution speculates that Chaneya simply feels bad and wants to protect her abuser, but she denies it. Additionally, her mother admits she forced her daughter into the lie, blaming a drug habit she has since gotten over.
Last year, a Washington State woman made a similar confession. Cassandra Kelly, 23, admitted to authorities that as an 11-year-old, she was upset about her parents' divorce and made up a story about her father, Thomas Edward Kennedy, raping her. He went to prison for nine years before his daughter recanted her statement in April 2012.
While false rape allegations frequently make headlines, rates of actual false rape claims are low. A 2009 study by the National Sexual Violence Research Center found that an estimated two-to-eight percent of reported rapes are false claims.