Alex Kelly Rape Trials: 1996-97
Arrested After Eight-year Vacation, Defense Claims Consent, The Jury's Verdict
Defendant Alex Kelly
Crime Charged: Sexual assault, kidnapping (first trial only)
Chief Defense Lawyers: Thomas P. Puccio, Hope Seeley
Chief Prosecutor: Bruce P. Huddock
Judges: First trial: Martin L. Nigro; Second trial: Kevin Tierney
Place: Stamford, Connecticut
Dates of Trials: October 15-November 12, 1996; April 9-June 12, 1997
Verdicts: First trial: Mistrial; Second trial: Guilty
Sentence: 20 years imprisonment, suspended after 16 years
SIGNIFICANCE: The Alex Kelly case was notorious for the lurid nature of the crime and public debate over the prosecution of a socially privileged defendant, who had evaded punishment for his crime with the help of his wealthy parents.
On the night of February 10, 1986, Alex Kelly offered 16-year-old Adrienne Bak a ride home from a party in Darien, Connecticut. The next day, Bak told police that Kelly had raped her. Eleven years would pass before the charge was weighed by a jury.
Three days after the Darien incident, while the shaken Bak family was mulling over the consequences of pressing charges, police received a complaint from a 17-year-old girl in nearby Stamford, who accused Kelly of raping and sodomizing her. Kelly was arrested and charged with sexual assault and kidnapping. Some residents of the wealthy suburbs were shocked by the arrest. Darien police, however, found the accusations believable. They also knew of the high school athlete's drug use and had previously arrested him for burglary. Kelly was scheduled to be tried for both alleged rapes simultaneously on February 16, 1987. Three days before his court date, however, he fled to Europe and disappeared.
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