Tulsa Rape Victim's Mom Speaks After Daughter Dies
TULSA, Oklahoma - We told you recently about a man named Daniel Kelley sentenced to 20 years in prison for rape,
but we hadn't been able to tell the victim's story because she died before Kelley's trial.
Now we sit down with the victim's mother for the rest of the story.
Kelley reportedly told Jennifer after he raped her, “my name is Daniel Bryan Kelley. I want you to remember it, but it won't do you any good because no one will believe you and I just destroyed the evidence."
10/30/2015 New Special Victims Unit A Success, Tulsa DA's Office Says
When Jennifer was 17, she was hit by a drunk driver. It caused seizures and eventually put her in a wheelchair.
But her saving grace, the love of her life, was her son Andrew. He was born with a heart defect and had his first open heart surgery at 4 days old. He spent his first year in a hospital and ended up having a heart transplant.
"In the hospital, she took the day shift because that's when all the procedures were and doctors came in and I took nights," Jennifer’s mother Pam Ferris said.
But at 4 years old, Andrew couldn't fight any longer. His death sent Jennifer's life into a tailspin.
"Everything happened that one month,” Pam said. “She was going through a divorce. Her son died, lost a job, lost the apartment, lost the car."
Homeless, Jennifer started drinking. And in February, a man she didn't know invited Jennifer and a friend to his home. Jennifer said the more that man drank, the meaner he got. He beat her friend unconscious, then he turned on her and raped her, she said.
Jennifer wheeled her chair a mile and a half to a McDonalds to call 911 and wrote Daniel Kelley's name on her hand.
The New Special Victims unit in the Tulsa County District Attorney’s office believed Jennifer and prosecuted Kelley.
Pam said they treated Jennifer with such respect and compassion, it helped her turn her life around.
"If they can believe in me and my mom believes in me, I can do this,” Pam said Jennifer thought.
She testified against Kelley at a preliminary hearing, but health issues took her life before his trial.
Her testimony was read into the record and the jury convicted him.
Even though Jennifer didn't get to see the justice, her mother said the prosecutors and victim advocates gave Jennifer something even better.
They gave back her self-respect and hope for a better life.