Even after more than a year, people still sometimes wonder if Cleo Smith was sexually assaulted, while remembering the case of her kidnapping.
This case dates back to October 16, 2021, when Cleo Smith was taken against her will from a camping area in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.
The young Australian was then only four years old, and fortunately, Smith was found safe and sound on November 3 of the same year.
To detail, law enforcement carried out a search of the home of Terence Darrell Kelly in the nearby town of Carnarvon.
After an extensive search, Cleo was found alive after 18 days at Kelly’s residence, just minutes from her home.
Ever since this news caught global media attention, people have been wondering if Cleo was sexually assaulted while being taken by Terence.
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Was Cleo Smith sexually assaulted?
Public information shows no reports of Cleo Smith being sexually assaulted as Terence Kelly abducted her.
Kelly, cited as a man obsessed with dolls, has been diagnosed with a severe and complex personality disorder.
He allegedly used methylamphetamine the night he took Cleo Smith in October 2021.
During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Kelly had kept Cleo confined to a bedroom in her home for the entire 18-day period.
Cleo was held captive in a room with a mattress on the floor of Kelly’s public housing duplex, where she was locked up.
After her arrest, Kelly admitted to physically abusing her on several occasions, including hitting her for being demanding and asking for chocolate.
According to court testimony, Kelly would turn up the volume on the radio to drown out Cleo’s calls for her mother.
However, Terence maintained that he had no intention of causing her serious harm.
Chief Justice Julie Wager of the District Court of Western Australia described Kelly’s actions as extremely serious, reaching the highest level of seriousness.
Cleo Smith: Update on Abduction and Disappearance Cases
Following his involvement in the kidnapping of Cleo Smith from an isolated campsite, Terence Kelly, 37, was sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison.
In October 2021, Kelly pleaded guilty to taking Cleo Smith from her family’s tent.
Terence was subsequently arrested and admitted for the crime of child abduction, attracting considerable attention around the world.
Chief Justice Julie Wager, presiding judge of the Perth District Court, described the offense as being of the utmost gravity when serving the sentence.
Kelly will have to serve more than 11 years of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
The case drew international attention as a massive 18-day search was carried out to locate Cleo after she disappeared from the tent she shared with her family.
Cleo’s parents discovered her missing sleeping bag the next morning when the tent’s zipper was wide open.
Disturbing details revealed in court showed how Cleo heard her name mentioned on the radio and informed Kelly saying: “They say my name.”
Kelly initially attempted to restrain Cleo using duct tape, but when that failed, he tried to tie her to a chair, noting that she had fought.
Cleo’s parents expressed the profound impact of Kelly’s actions in their statement.
They said their lives had been torn apart by the lasting trauma caused by the incident.
They expressed their hope that their daughter can lead a fulfilling life in the future; despite the ordeal, she made it through.
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