The mother of a Texas girl whose case went viral after several online videos sparked a campaign against child abuse, is speaking out for the first time.
Kelly Long, the mother of a young girl seen screaming in an online video during a custody exchange with the child’s father, said she has not spoken out publicly before because she wanted to protect the dignity and privacy of her children.
“I have been hesitant to speak out because as a concerned mother, my foremost priority is to protect the safety and dignity of all of my children, including Sophie. This entire situation has been heartbreaking, terrifying and beyond comprehension. I am just putting one foot in front of the other and will do everything I can to protect, shield and help all three of my children somehow process the trauma they are experiencing. I can’t wait to hold my babies in my arms again.”
Kelly’s statement comes days after the Routzon Law Firm issued a statement claiming that a “Stand with Sophie” GoFundMe page, which accused Kelly Long of child abuse, was fraudulent. The fundraiser amassed over $200,000.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a video of the 9-year-old posted online shows the child pleading with adults for help and refusing to get out of a vehicle during the custody exchange. The child asked why no one believed her as she cried and said she didn’t want to go home with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend.
“Help me, help me!” the child screamed.
The GoFundMe page indicated that the child had said numerous times that she was a victim of molestation, grooming, and domestic violence at her mother’s home.
“Sophie, 9 years old, has disclosed she has been continuously subjected to domestic violence, sexual grooming, and most recently molestation/rape in her primary residence,” the GoFundMe page read. “Her father is fighting for her life while her abusers pull every resource to get their hands back on her.”
In an emailed statement sent to CrimeOnline, the law firm indicated that “extensive evidence and documents provided by medical professionals, Child Protective Services, and the Frisco Police Department of Texas show that these claims against the child’s mother Kelly Long are entirely unfounded.”
“We have alerted the authorities and attorneys are doing everything they can to warn the public about the false nature of these claims. Michael Long’s personal vendetta against his ex-wife has now escalated to dangerous levels,” a family spokesperson said.
The child’s father, Michael Long, has been accused of sending “cryptic threats to his ex-wife Kelly and members of her family” and “making false and outlandish allegations against Kelly Long.”
“We are unfortunately dealing with a very volatile and increasingly dangerous situation. Michael Long will seemingly stop at nothing to destroy his ex-wife, even if it wreaks massive psychological damage on his family and involves stealing money from the public through false claims,” said the family spokesperson.
Further, the law firm alleges that the true meaning behind the GoFundMe account is Michael Long’s poor financial situation.
“Michael Long has substantial financial woes, which appears to be motivation for his attempts to monetize his child custody case. He filed for bankruptcy in 2011 leaving a debt of nearly $500,000. His current source of income is produced through a business that he runs with his wife Kourtney Chalmers and family in which they sell sand infused with spiritual energy online.”
Although Michael Long can no longer speak specifically about the case, which involves an upcoming custody hearing, he said he stood behind everything his daughter said.
Earlier this month, Jamie L. Graham, an attorney for Michael Long, indicated a new judge on the case decided to “err on the side of caution” and place the little girl and her brothers in Michael Long’s care until the hearing.
Michael Long and his attorney are due back in court in November, when a custody battle trial will begin.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo via Pixabay]