Even after more than a year, people still sometimes wonder was Cleo Smith sexually assaulted, while remembering the case of her abduction.
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 girl from Australia was only four years old then, and fortunately, Smith was found safe on November 3 of the same year.
To detail, the law enforcement authorities carried out a search of Terence Darrell Kelly’s residence in the nearby town of Carnarvon.
After an extensive search, Cleo was discovered alive after 18 days at Kelly’s residence, just minutes away from her home.
Ever since this news garnered global media attention, people have wondered if Cleo was sexually assaulted while taken by Terence.
Was Cleo Smith Sexually Assaulted?
The public information shows no reports of Cleo Smith being sexually assaulted while Terence Kelly abducted her.
Kelly, quoted as a man obsessed with dolls, was diagnosed with a severe and complex personality disorder.
He reportedly had consumed methylamphetamine on 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 his house for the entire 18-day period.
Cleo was held captive in a room with a mattress on the floor at Kelly’s state housing duplex, where she was locked in.
After his arrest, Kelly admitted to physically mistreating her several times, including hitting her for being demanding and asking for chocolate.
According to testimonies in court, Kelly would turn up the radio volume to drown out Cleo’s pleas for her mother.
However, Terence maintained that he did not intend to cause severe harm to her.
Chief Judge Julie Wager of the Western Australia District Court described Kelly’s actions as extremely grave, reaching the highest level of seriousness.
Cleo Smith: Abduction And Missing Case Update
Following his involvement in abducting Cleo Smith from a remote campsite, Terence Kelly, aged 37, has been 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 to the crime of child abduction, garnering significant attention worldwide.
Chief Judge Julie Wager, presiding over the Perth District Court, described the offence as exhibiting the utmost severity when delivering the sentence.
Kelly will have to serve over 11 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
The case gained international attention as a massive 18-day search was conducted to locate Cleo after disappearing from the tent she shared with her family.
Cleo’s parents discovered her missing sleeping bag the following morning while the tent’s zipper was wide open.
Disturbing details revealed in court depicted how Cleo heard her name mentioned on the radio and informed Kelly, saying, “They’re saying my name.”
Kelly attempted to restrain Cleo using adhesive tape initially, but when that failed, he tried to tie her to a chair, noting that she fought.
Cleo’s parents expressed the profound impact of Kelly’s actions in their statement.
They stated that 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 went through.