Now 23-years-old, Cassandra Ann Kennedy admits to authorities that she lied when she accused her father in 2001 of raping her at least three times. Unfortunately, those accusations stuck and her father, Thomas Edward Kennedy, has spent the past nine years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Authorities do not intend to charge Kennedy for lying, fearing it could stop others from reporting sexual assaults.
“I did a horrible thing,” Kennedy told detectives in January, according to a police report. “It’s not OK.”
Admitting she was bitter following her parents’ divorce in 1991, she says she fabricated the rape accusations because she was disappointed in her father. The stories were so convincing, consistent and detailed, they seemed beyond the sexual knowledge of an 11-year-old. She told a teacher about the abuse, using the code word “peace” to indicate when it had supposedly happened again.
After her parent’s divorce, Kennedy and her sister spent one weekend a month at their father’s home, where they slept on foam mattresses in his living room. “I wanted him to love me, and I didn’t think he did at that time,” she told the detectives. “I took my own vengeance,” she added.
Kennedy told police that her friend’s stepfather was imprisoned for a child sex crime and that’s where she got the idea to punish her father. “I thought that is what I would do to make my dad go away.”
Authorities learned that she had been sexually active since the second grade, which accounts for why the trauma to her body at the time was consistent with a rape — but now police believe this could have been from sexual contact before her accusations.
Kennedy’s father denied the allegation, but a jury convicted him of three counts of rape of a child and he was sentenced to more than 15 years in jail. “I just want him to be out and freed. [Then] I will be free on the inside,” she said.
She reportedly has a history of alcohol and drug abuse.
Be advised that the photo used in this article is consistent with all of the media reports regarding this case, but the originator of the story wrote a disclaimer that the image is a “file picture.” Not sure why they used an image of a black girl who is obviously not 23-years-old hiding her face in the palm of her hands, but I digress. –yvette caslin