Maine Man Convicted of Transporting Owensboro Girl Across State Lines with Intent to Engage in Sexual Activity
Jury Deliberated One Hour Before Reaching Unanimous Verdict
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 27, 2012|
OWENSBORO, KY—A federal jury in Owensboro, Kentucky deliberated approximately one hour, late yesterday, before finding Archie M. Whalen, from Hancock County, Maine, guilty of transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
According to testimony presented during the three-day trial, Whalen, age 45, took a 13-year-old Owensboro girl from her home on September 26, 2009. A multi-state Amber Alert was issued and within 24 hours, the minor girl was found with Whalen in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on September 27, 2009.
Whalen was arrested after a Sturgeon Bay Police officer observed the Maine license plate on the vehicle Whalen was driving and conducted a felony traffic stop. The Sturgeon Bay Police acted after being notified by the FBI in Kentucky to be on the lookout for Whalen’s red Ford Explorer with a Maine license plate. According to the minor girl’s mother, a text message on their shared cell phone helped police identify Whalen. The minor girl and her mother had met Whalen while they briefly lived in Maine earlier that month. After the Amber Alert was issued, employees at a McDonald’s in Breckenridge County alerted their local sheriff’s office that they believed Whalen and the victim had been in the restaurant around 5:30 a.m. Surveillance video obtained by the Breckenridge County Sheriff’s Office and provided to Daviess County authorities was used to confirm Whalen’s identity and that the missing minor was with him. When Whalen’s Maine plate was run by a police officer in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, although no traffic stop was done, law enforcement authorities in Kentucky were able to confirm that Whalen was in Wisconsin and likely headed in the direction of Sturgeon Bay, where one of Whalen’s family members lived.
Whalen has a prior state felony conviction for second-degree assault in New York and a prior federal conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine.
At sentencing, the maximum potential penalties are life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and supervised release for a period of five years to a term of life. Whalen is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. on October 19, 2012, at 9:00 a.m.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marisa J. Ford, and it was investigated by the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Owensboro Resident Agency, with invaluable assistance and cooperation from the Sturgeon Bay Police Department in Wisconsin; the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department in Maine; the Evidence Response Team in the FBI’s Milwaukee Division; and the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney in Daviess County, Kentucky.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc