Former journalist asked questions that were personal, sexual: teen

Forty-two-year-old on trial for trying to lure 14-year-old on Facebook

Rosie Mullaley
Published on July 9, 2014
Kevin Kelly

What seemed to start out as a friendly Facebook chat with a member of the media led to questions about her virginity and an invitation to meet in person, a teenage girl told a St. John’s court Tuesday.

“He asked me did I date a lot of guys and if I lost my virginity,” the girl said while testifying in the second day of Kevin Kelly’s trial at provincial court.

“He said when he has sex with his girlfriend, he thinks of me.”

The 42-year-old — a former senior editor with the Newfoundland Herald — has pleaded not guilty to a single count of child luring by means of a computer.

He’s accused of sending the girl — who was 14 at the time — inappropriate Facebook messages over a five-week period in December 2011 and January 2012.

The teen, who did some modelling for charity events, said Kelly first sent her a friend request and a personal message on Facebook after seeing her in a local fashion show.

“I saw we had a few mutual friends, so I accepted him,” she said.

Soon after, she said, Kelly started messaging her regularly, engaging in lengthy conversations.

She said Kelly told her where he worked and that he wanted to help her launch her modelling career, hooking her up with a local agency.

He asked her age. She said 14.

“He said, ‘That’s young. You look a lot older,’” the girl said under questioning from Crown prosecutor Shawn Patten.

She said Kelly told her he was 38 years old.

Kelly then began complimenting her about how pretty she was and asked about her fashion style, she said. He often asked what she was wearing.

The questions then turned personal, she said — asking her about her body measurements and her sex life.

The girl said Kelly told her about his sex life with his girlfriend, saying it wasn’t great, but would tell her when he did have sex.

“He said he’d like to know what it’s like to kiss me,” the teen said. “He said that a few times.”

The girl said Kelly then asked the girl to meet up “to discuss her potential.” Another time, he said he wanted to take her out to get a dress for her.

She had told her parents about Kelly at first, even showing them their conversation about modelling.

“I was just so excited,” she said.

Her parents had even contacted Kelly to discuss the modelling agency he was suggesting for her.

Her mother testified Monday that Kelly seemed legit and that she had no idea her daughter continued to talk to him.

It was only after the teen’s friend saw their exchanges and got concerned that something was done to stop it.

Her friend, who testified Monday, accessed the girl’s Facebook account, using the password she had told her before, and took screen shots of the conversation between her friend and Kelly. The 93 shots captured most of the conversations the girl had with Kelly.

The girls finally opened up to a teacher about Kelly’s comments. The teacher contacted her parents, who called police.

The teen admitted that when she heard police were on the way, she deleted all Kelly’s messages.

“I don’t know why. I was just nervous. … There was a lot of pressure and everyone was being so dramatic at the time,” she said.

“I didn’t realize how serious it was.”

Defence lawyer Mike King is expected to cross-examine the girl today.

The trial was originally set for three days, but lawyers told Judge Jim Walsh that more time was needed. The additional days will be scheduled when testimony concludes today.