Texas church shooter avoided arrest in rape case after investigation languished, records show

A young woman accused Texas mass killer Devin Kelley of rape in 2013 but he was never arrested after the investigation languished, according to a report.

The 20-year-old accuser said she was choked, slapped, forced into oral sex and raped but the case became inactive after she ignored follow-up calls from a detective with the Comal County Sheriff’s Office, the San Antonio Express-News reported, citing records released Friday.

The documents include a statement from Tessa Brennaman, Kelley’s ex-wife, who corroborated the woman’s complaint and told a deputy that Kelley had water-boarded her when they were married, according to the paper.

“We had only been married a month the first time he choked me,” Bennaman said in a signed statement. “For a whole year, he slapped me, choked me, kicked me, water-boarded me and held a gun to my head.”

Had prosecutors obtained a conviction against Kelley in the sexual assault case, it could have prevented him from buying the gun he used to kill more than two dozen people at a small church in Sutherland Springs in November 2017.

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The 26-year-old gun killed himself after being shot fleeing the church by a person who lived in the area.

Brennaman divorced Kelly in 2012 after he was convicted in military court of assaulting her and fracturing his stepson’s skull and sentenced to 12 months in a military prison.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the records show Kelley’s accuser in the 2013 sex assault case was not given a forensic exam in connection with her complaint.

According to the AP, the case was listed as inactive because a Comal County detective couldn’t contact Kelley, thinking he had moved. It remained inactive even after deputies were called to Kelley’s home in February 2014 to investigate a separate domestic violence complaint against him.

“This was an error of the part of the sheriff’s office,” Comal County Sheriff Mark Reynolds told the AP Friday.

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The name of the Kelley’s accuser had been redacted in the records.

“He told me he would hurt me when I didn’t do what he said,” she wrote.

The case detective left three voice-mail messages with her and then sent letter four months later that said, “I cannot proceed without your help.”

Reynolds said Friday that deputies eventually spoke to the woman in October. The case detective then tried to contact Kelley, but was unsuccessful, and that the investigation "stalled," Reynolds said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.