Texas Man Convicted In Child Sex Club Case

This photo released by the Smith County Sheriff's Office shows Patrick Kelly. On Monday, June 23, 2008, Kelly is scheduled to stands trial in Tyler, Texas, for his alleged role in the "Mineola Swinger's Club" where prosecutors say four children, ages 5 through 7, were forced to have sex and dance for an audience of adults. (AP Photo/Smith County Sheriff's Office)
AP/Smith County Sheriffs Office
A 41-year-old auto body shop worker was convicted Thursday of grooming children as young as 5 to perform in sex shows at a small-town swingers club in Texas.

Patrick "Booger Red" Kelly showed no emotion after the verdict. Jurors deliberated about two hours before finding him guilty of engaging in organized criminal activity, a conviction that could send him to prison for life.

Prosecutors alleged Kelly was a member of the so-called Mineola Swinger's Club, though Kelly has testified he is innocent. They contended Kelly helped set up a "kindergarten" where young children learned to dance provocatively. To help perform at the club, prosecutors say the children were given Vicodin-like drugs the adults passed off as "silly pills."

Testimony began Thursday afternoon in the sentencing phase of the trial, where prosecutors were pushing for a life sentence. Kelly could go to prison anywhere from five years to life.

During closing arguments Thursday, prosecutor Joe Murphy accused Kelly of having sexual contact with four children tied to the case who, he said, showed signs of sexual abuse.

Kelly's defense questioned why the children did not remember details about the club and why they were not examined by medical personnel trained to detect sexual abuse.

Kelly testified during the trial that he has no knowledge of "silly pills" and never made children do any kind of sexual dancing or touched them inappropriately. He said he has never even been to the Mineola Swinger's Club.

Other witnesses called by Kelly's attorneys have said that while swinger parties took place in the building, children were never present.