ONLY ON FOX: Nolan's victim is thriving after abuse

Published: 2011-03-30 11:02:49
Author: Katie Delaune

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB Fox 41) --   A high school senior has passed up a prestigious full-ride scholarship to go to school with her sister. The sister was raped by her step-father: former chiropractor Robert Nolan, who was convicted last year.

Kelsy was just barely a teenager when authorities say her step-dad Dr. Robert Nolan seduced and raped her. Police say the abuse continued for 5 years and when it came to light in 2009, Kelsy's family was devastated. Last year Kelsy testified at Nolan's trial and the chiropractor was convicted on four felony counts that included rape and child molestation. But Kelsy and her 3 younger sisters were determined to make sure Nolan would not break their family.

17-year-old Mekenna wrote about the abuse and subsequent trial in an essay for the Lilly Scholarship. It awards a free ride to high school seniors to any college in Indiana. The New Albany High senior with a 4.5 GPA chose this personal subject for one reason.

"It's why I'm strong. It's why I am who I am it's what's shaped me so I don't know why I wouldn't right about anything else than that," says Mekenna.

Mekenna found out Friday she won the scholarship but on Monday she turned it down. Instead she's deciding to attend a university in Tennessee. Just so happens Kelsy will be starting their this fall.

"I said Kelsy I know I'm supposed to be there with you," says Mekenna.

By phone, Kelsy spoke highly of her sister. "I know that my sister is one of the most caring people I've ever met in my entire life. I'm so proud of my sister."

She says recovery has been possible with counseling and her deep faith. "I knew I had to stand-up for myself. I knew I wasn't going to be a victim anymore," says Kelsy. She credits Mekenna with showing her how tight those sister bonds can be.

Nolan is still facing charges in Clark County. Kelsy and several other patients claim Nolan abused them in his chiropractor's office. There is a preliminary hearing in that case in April.