Lakewood: Actor-director indicted for rape

11:16 PM, Jan 16, 2012   |    comments
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LAKEWOOD -- He's well-known in the arts community from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, but those who know 54-year-old Kevin Joseph Kelly never expected this.

He's been applauded for years for his work on stage and with teens as an acting teacher, but now Kevin Joseph Kelly stands accused of rape.

A grand jury indicted Kelly, 54, with three counts of rape and one count each of sexual battery and kidnapping. The alleged victim is now an adult but was 15 at the time he claims he was assaulted.

Kelly's most recent stage credit was playing Edna Turnblad in "Hairspray" the Beck Center in Lakewood. 

The center's executive director said Kelly has been employed off and on for years both as an actor and as a teacher for classes that include teens.

The center does conduct background checks on all employees, but with no criminal history, there were no "red flags" that would create concern, she said.

Reached at his apartment in Lakewood, Kelly said he looks forward to going to court to prove his innocence.


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