Evidence in the Keller Case

July 10, 2014

This post elaborates on some of the evidence in the Keller case, discussed in an article that was just published on Huffington Post. The article, which is about the witch-hunt narrative writ large, argues that the evidence of abuse in the Keller case has been minimized or denied, while the “satanic” aspects of the case, which were never part of the charges, have been exaggerated.

  • Dr. Mouw’s Testimony 

The Keller case began the day that a mother took her daughter to the Emergency Room, after the little girl screamed “It hurts, it hurts” while urinating. The Emergency Room doctor, Dr. Michael Mouw, found two different signs of sexual abuse. Seventeen years later, the doctor told a reporter that his diagnosis was likely incorrect.

Dr. Mouw’s claim has been accepted at face value, without any apparent skepticism or scrutiny by those advancing the witch-hunt narrative. Yet, on close examination, there are two reasons to discount Dr. Mouw’s current claim. First and foremost, it is flatly contradicted by his testimony in 1992, when he said repeatedly that he had “no independent recollection” of the exam. [1] His subsequent testimony was based entirely on the notes he made at the time of the examination, conducted in 1991. Yet, Dr. Mouw now claims that “years later,” while attending a seminar, he realized that his diagnosis in this case was incorrect. [2] How could he possibly remember this examination “years later” when he had no independent recollection of it in 1992?

Second, even accepting what Dr. Mouw now says at face value, his current position, contained in this affidavit filed in 2013, contradicts only one of the two findings in his 1992 report. Dr. Mouw claims that the “lacerations” he reported seeing in two places in the girl’s vagina were probably normal hymenal variations. But his affidavit did not withdraw his finding of a “tear in the posterior fourchette.” [3] (This kind of tear is not normal in any child.) Instead, he added the comment that the injury “could have been caused by masturbation.” [4] This speculation is not based on new, or even old, evidence. Rather, it is pure speculation. This assertion is contradicted by anatomy and by common sense. The tear was in the posterior; masturbation would be anterior. Moreover, a child seeking a pleasurable feeling would not persist in painful actions to the point of injury and bleeding. In sum, contrary to how the affidavit has been described in the media, Dr. Mouw’s affidavit is not a complete recantation of the medical evidence in the case. Dr. Mouw still agrees that there was a medical finding involving an injury to the girl’s vagina.

  • Advanced Warning

A civil complaint filed by the parents of one of the children who attended the Keller’s home daycare contains the allegation that a “longtime friend and confident” of Francis Keller was told about “Daniel Keller’s abusive habit toward children” (p. 2). If this allegation is true, it provides additional support, beyond the word of the children, for the allegation against the Kellers. But this evidence was never heard in court because the defendants were ultimately successful in an appeal that argued that such causes of action should not be allowed in Texas. That decision received considerable attention and one newspaper editorialized, based on the allegations in the case, that “it would take heart of stone” not to sympathize with the plaintiffs. It also takes willful ignorance to claim, in light of this allegation, that the case was all a witch-hunt.

[1] Dr. Mouw testimony (1992), tr. 166, lines 4, 8, 19.
[2] Dr. Mouw affidavit (2013), p. 2, para. 7.
[3] Dr. Mouw testimony (1992), tr. 170, lines 8-15.
[4] Dr. Mouw affidavit (2013), p. 2, para. 6.