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Woman Sentenced for Sending Innocent Man to Jail - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Woman Sentenced for Sending Innocent Man to Jail

Kellye Stephens Kellye Stephens
Rick Anderson Rick Anderson

Barre, Vermont - December 8, 2009

Tuesday was sentencing day for a former Norwich University student who framed an innocent man and sent him to prison for three months.

Prosecutors wanted Kellye Stephens to serve at least three months behind bars to balance the scales of justice. Prosecutors admit they may never know why Kellye Stephens lied to police to frame a man whose only crime was to fall in love with her after one date. The prosecutor indicated he believes she was lying again as a last minute ploy to avoid going to prison.

Washington County Prosecutor Tom Kelly wanted the judge to send 23-year-old Kellye Stephens to prison for 92 days, matching the jail time served by Rick Anderson, the innocent man she framed with lies to police.

Anderson and Stephens met at a function at Norwich University when she was a senior 21 months ago.

They dated once, and he fell in love with her and they exchanged a series of text messages and e-mails.

But she now admits she created phony e-mails supposedly from Anderson, containing death threats, which was the evidence that got Anderson jailed without bail for 92 days until investigators realized she was the culprit.

Her family hired a psychologist who testified that Stephens told him she had been sexually assaulted in high school and at Norwich University, and suffered from post traumatic disorder,  so she made up the lies about Anderson because she feared him.

"Whatever her stage of mind, she didn't have whatever it took to tell him face-to-face leave me alone," said he lawyer Kim Cheney. 

Her lawyer requested no jail time, but the prosecutor asked for the 92 days as justice and indicated her 11th hour claims about sex assaults and psychological damage were more fabrications created to try to avoid prison.

"If the court can't trust the word of someone who takes that witness stand the system falls apart," said Kelly. 

Stephens declined comment before Judge Brian Grearson struck a middle ground sentenced her to serve 30 days in prison.

"I think it's a little short but if that's what I can get, that's what I can get," said the victim Rick Anderson. He told us it was not the 92 days he wanted her to serve, but it was what he and his lawyer had agreed would be enough after his family's insurance company recently paid him $10,000.  to settle his lawsuit.

In response to Stephens claims that she was sexually assaulted at Norwich, University officials released a written statement. Norwich says it will wait to receive court documents upon resolution of the criminal case against Stephens before deciding its course of action.

Brian Joyce - WCAX News

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