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Prison given in sexual assault case
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Prison given in sexual assault case

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A Beatrice man convicted of sexual assault was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday morning.

William T. Kelley, 49, was sentenced to five years on two charges in Gage County District Court, with the sentences running consecutive, for a total of 10 years.

Kelley was initially charged with first-degree sexual assault of a minor and third-degree sexual assault of a child, though the charges were both reduced to intentional child abuse, class 3A felonies, as part of a plea agreement.

Prosecuting attorney George Welch said Kelley provided the victim and another girl with drugs and alcohol, and caused immense damage to the victim’s mental health.

“He, Mr. Kelley, took advantage of a young woman in a vulnerable state,” Welch said. “It’s apparent from her statement and other accounts that she’s given that Mr. Kelley was a person she trusted and looked up to. He was her softball coach, he was a strong male figure in her life. That’s the kind of people we need in society, people to help shape our youth, show them how to lead life the right way. Mr. Kelley violated that trust.”

Defense attorney Timothy Noerrlinger pointed out that Kelley has already spent a lengthy amount of time incarcerated, and has taken advantage of rehabilitation services during that time.

“When you look at Mr. Kelley, these offenses occurred in 2007,” he said. “Since that time he has effectively been in custody for 12.5 years. It appears based on reading the (presentence investigation report) that he has received the full benefit available to him at the Department of Corrections.”

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In June 2009, Kelley was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for two counts of child abuse, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of providing false information on a firearm application.

The assaults he was sentenced for on Monday occurred in late 2007 and early 2008 and were investigated by law enforcement a decade ago.

According to an arrest warrant, the victim was interviewed, and described being sexually assaulted by Kelley on more than one occasion.

During a second interview, the victim told the investigator that she met Kelley when she was around 12 or 13 years old and was friends with his stepdaughter.

The victim said that in late 2007, Kelley and his stepdaughter picked her up from her residence and drove to Kelley's residence in rural Filley.

Kelley gave the victim alcohol and marijuana. Kelley began kissing the victim and sexually assaulted her.

The victim also described an incident previously investigated in 2008, where in January, Kelley rented a room at the Holiday Inn in Beatrice where the victim was also sexually assaulted.

A receipt showed that Kelley had rented a room at the hotel on Jan. 11, 2008. At the time of the assaults, Kelley was 36 years old and the victim was 14.

Kelley’s wife, Ann Marie Kelley, went missing in April 2008 and was never found. William Kelley was a person of interest in the case, but was never charged.

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