Dean Kelly, a former male model, whose one-time fame for a shirtless cameo in the music video for the Aerosmith song “Crazy” has long since been eclipsed by rape and child pornography allegations and trouble staying out of jail, is headed to prison for a long stretch.
Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier ruled Thursday that Kelly violated the terms of his probation and must serve a 10-year prison sentence she handed him in September.
The judge had suspended the sentence as part of a deal in which Kelly pleaded no contest in September to a pair of sexual battery counts and a charge of carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Kelly, 43, had already been in jail nearly two years before his plea and sentencing. He has been back in jail since November.
After an hourlong hearing Thursday, Flemings-Davillier found that Kelly violated terms of his probation that included not using aliases on social media and having to register all the phones he used.
His attorney, Frank DeSalvo, called the evidence sketchy. DeSalvo argued that Dean got mixed messages from police and a probation officer over what he was allowed to do, and that there was no proof he violated his probation conditions over Facebook.
“It was a lot of inference and innuendo, but I don’t think they proved any actual violations,” DeSalvo said,
However, judges have broad discretion to revoke a defendant’s probation, with a legal standard that doesn’t require proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Kelly cut his deal last year on allegations that he raped two teenage girls in 2005. He originally was charged with forcible rape, felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, second-degree kidnapping and possession of child pornography.
He took an “Alford plea,” meaning he did not admit guilt but acknowledged the state had sufficient evidence to convict him. As part of the deal, he was required to register for 10 years as a sex offender and participate in treatment.
The victims alleged that Kelly threatened their families’ bodies would “end up at the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain” if they reported his crimes, according to Lindsey Ladouceur, an attorney who represented one of the victims.
Ladouceur said Thursday she was unaware of the revocation of Kelly’s probation.
Prosecutors said he raped a 14-year-old girl in February 2005 and later that year raped a 17-year-old. Investigators said they also found a flash drive with child pornography on it at his home.
“Hopefully, this is a sword of Damocles over his head” — meaning a threat of punishment that would keep him in line — Ladouceur said when Kelly was sentenced last September.
Apparently, it wasn’t, the judge found Thursday.
Best known for his role as an apparently skinny-dipping hunk in the 1994 Aerosmith rock video, Kelly was prone to using pseudonyms to flirt with young women, once introducing himself as “Walker Clay” before hitting on co-eds at a Mardi Gras party.
On Nov. 15, while on probation, Kelly allegedly sent out a mass text message trying to entice women to a party. He signed it “Tara,” prosecutors said. Several women alerted Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office.
Documents show that Kelly’s probation officer, Michael O’Connell, searched his parents’ boathouse, where Kelly had been staying, and asked Kelly for all his cellphones and computers. Kelly handed O’Connell two broken phones, a BlackBerry, a flip-phone and his laptop.
Nothing untoward turned up on the devices, although Kelly was arrested for failing to charge his court-ordered ankle bracelet.
The same day, however, a California woman called New Orleans police, saying Kelly had texted her under the name “Ty.” She also received a picture that “resembles a younger Dean Kelly,” his probation officer wrote.
Kelly also had been using Facebook, authorities said, and agents who later returned to the boathouse found another cellphone hidden under a nightstand, “located in such a way that led Mr. O’Connell to believe that it was intentionally placed there.”
DeSalvo said the judge seemed to stretch the idea that Kelly needed to register phones he used. There also was no proof, he said, that Kelly returned to his earlier aliases following his plea deal.
Kelly has had his share of antagonists. “There’s a thousand people in this city who knew what his aliases are, and they’re all over the Internet,” DeSalvo said. “It’s like mass hysteria, one feeding the other. It became a lynch mob.”
A spokesman for Cannizzaro’s office declined comment Thursday.
O’Connell filed for an arrest warrant in November, and Kelly later hobbled to his office “using a walker that was not ordered by a doctor and belonged to his father.”
Kelly fell to the floor and lay still when O’Connell arrested him. An agent allegedly heard him at the hospital, telling his mother to delete everything from the home computer.
A text to his mother allegedly read: “Mom u need to tell the PO those phones are yours. N I need to go to Hospital. I just collapsed. Broke back.”
In fact, Kelly’s back was intact.
Kelly’s jail stints have been marred by allegations of feigned illness and beatings. In one case, authorities said, other Orleans Parish jail inmates did indeed beat him, and Kelly once showed up to a court hearing with a severely swollen face.
DeSalvo said Kelly took the judge’s ruling hard on Thursday.
“He’s really lost it. His demeanor, everything’s gone. It’s sad,” DeSalvo said. “Some people think he’s acting, but if he’s acting, he’s the worst actor in the world.”
Follow John Simerman on Twitter, @johnsimerman.