Girl Changes Rape Story; Dad Finally Freed from Jail After 9 Years
In 2001, a then 11-year-old Cassandra Ann Kennedy accused her dad of rape. Her father, Thomas Edward Kennedy denied the allegations, but was still found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Nine years later, Cassandra admitted that she lied about the rape. And just last week, her dad was finally released from prison, after serving a wrongful 9-year sentence.
“I did a horrible thing,” Cassandra told the police. “It’s not OK to sit and be locked in this horrible place for something you didn’t do. It’s just not right.”
“I just want him to be out and freed,” she added. “I will be free on the inside.”
Cassandra confessed that she was angry after her parent’s divorce and was determined to set her father up, after learning of a friend’s stepdad who went to prison for a sex crime.
“I wanted him to love me, and I didn’t think he did at that time.” She explained her inflated anger at her father, “He wasn’t showing up. I wanted him away so he would stop hurting me. I took my own vengeance.”
While her dad was not perfect, Cassandra herself had a troubled childhood. A few months before accusing her father of incest, she was expelled from school for threatening to bring a gun and “shooting everyone.” Soon, in her pre-teens, she began experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
When she approached investigators in 2001, Cassandra recounted the abuse and rape incidents in incredible and consistent detail, using stuffed animals to illustrate what her father had allegedly done to her. She later admitted that she used details from movies and observations to explain the sexual encounters. She had also engaged in sexual activity since she was in the second-grade.
After hearing the accusations, Thomas Kennedy denied any wrongdoing. Nonetheless, a jury found him guilty and he was then sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Cassandra explained that, as a child, she was unaware of the full ramifications of her lies, “I just thought he would go away, you know, go to jail for a little bit, be out of my life.”
After Cassandra’s recent confession, County Prosecutor Sue Baur immediately sent a letter to the Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning. “I need to inform you that I have been made aware of new, credible material evidence that potentially creates a reasonable likelihood that Mr. Kennedy is innocent of those crimes,” she wrote.
Last Monday, Thomas Kennedy was released from prison and all charges against him have been dropped.
“This is something my whole office is talking about,” Baur said. “This is the kind of thing that shouldn’t happen.”
However, Baur also confirms that Cassandra will not be charged for lying under oath, partly because prosecutors don’t want to discourage other people (in similar circumstances) from confessing.
Cassandra is currently residing in Mountain Ministries, a Christian addiction treatment center.