‘He changed my daughter's life forever:’ Mother of Kaleb Gillespie's first rape victim speaks out

Donna Dover exclusively shared her daughter's story with WAAY 31, and how she was living in fear when she found out Gillespie escaped from the Morgan County Jail.

Posted: Nov 6, 2019 9:06 PM
Updated: Nov 6, 2019 9:31 PM

The man who escaped from the Morgan County Jail and went on the run with a teenager for a week should have been in prison. 

WAAY 31 uncovered court documents showing Kaleb Gillespie violated his probation for a 2009 rape multiple times.. The mother of that rape victim says her daughter lived in fear while Gillespie was on the run.

Kaleb Gillespie

WAAY 31's policy is to not identify rape victims, but Donna Dover and her daughter told us they've wanted to share her story for years, and now is the time.

"He raped my daughter. He changed my daughter's life forever. She has never been the same. Her anxiety. Her stress level. She's a different person," says Donna Dover.

Donna Dover tells us her daughter, Emily, was 15 years old in 2008 when her third cousin, Kaleb Gillespie, raped her. In 2009, Gillespie pleaded guilty to rape in the second degree and a marijuana charge.

Gillespie and the Dovers settled on a plea agreement for 20 years split. He would serve 5 years in prison and 5 years on probation. Court documents show that, according to the agreement, if Gillespie violated his probation he would serve the rest of his 15 years in prison.

WAAY 31 also obtained court documents from 2016, where Gillespie was arrested in Kansas for leading officers on a pursuit. He was charged with fleeing, eluding law enforcement and reckless driving.

In 2018, court documents show Gillespie was arrested for domestic violence for hitting a woman for not making gravy correctly. She says he pointed a gun at her head.

Gillespie was arrested again last November after a standoff with Decatur police. He was wanted for ramming a state trooper with his car and trafficking drugs. Before that, he eluded Moulton police 4 times.

"I don't understand why he wasn't incarcerated soon after violating his probation. That's a question I would like answered as well," said Donna Dover.

Donna Dover said when her daughter found out Gillespie escaped Oct. 27, she applied for a gun permit.

"For him to go out and violate that. He was young. He had a life ahead of him. He could have changed and he chose not to. It was scary knowing he was back out," she said.

Her daughter did not want to go on camera, but wants her story to be told, that she's been living with this nightmare for years.

"The past 11 years, we've had to continuously relive this situation and the only peace I've seen my daughter get is the five years I seen him behind bars in Limestone Correctional," said Donna Dover.

The Sheriff's Office told WAAY 31 that before his escape, Gillespie was told he would soon be sent to prison to serve out the rest of the rape sentence for violating his probation.

I've asked the sheriff's office and district attorney's office why he wasn't sent back to prison following the 2016 arrest in Kansas. 

We are still waiting to hear back.

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