In 2013, Texas couple Dan and Fran Keller were freed from jail after serving 21 years behind bars. The Austin pair were wrongly imprisoned over claims they had sexually abused children during supposed satanic rituals at their day care facility.
Now, the Kellers will receive $3.4 million USD ($4.3 million AUD) from a state fund for their wrongful convictions, CBS reports.
The pair were accused of sexually abusing a 3-year-old girl at the day care centre they ran out of their home in 1992.
As the Washington Post reports, three children accused the couple of a long list of bizarre satanic rituals, from desecrating graves, dismembering babies to torturing pets. Allegations about the couple serving blood-laced Kool Aid, wearing white robes and even flying children to Mexico to be raped by soldiers were also made.
The Kellers were found guilty and sentenced to 48 years in prison.
But after almost 22 years behind bars, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeal declared a doctor was mistaken in claiming there was physical evidence of the girl’s sexual assault. The doctor said small deformities on the girl's hymen might be a result of the abuse.
As Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore pointed out in June, 2013, the alleged victim also later acknowledged she had no memory of the abuse.
Ms Moore called their wrongful convictions of the Kellers as an example of “satanic panic” rampant during the 1980s and ‘90s.
According to the Austin American Statesmen, Fran, 67, and Dan, 75, will spend their state payment on buying a house and health insurance, and other essentials.
“This means we don’t have to worry about pinching pennies on Social Security, and late bills. It means we will actually be free. We can start living — and no more nightmares,” Fran said.