Hancock County man gets 30 years for taking 13-year-old girl

Posted Dec. 18, 2012, at 2:06 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 18, 2012, at 7:03 p.m.
Archie Whalen
Sturgeon Bay, Wis., Police Department
Archie Whalen

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A 46-year-old Maine resident has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for transporting a 13-year-old Owensboro, Ky., girl across state lines to engage in sexual activity.

The U.S. attorney’s office says Archie M. Whalen of Hancock County was sentenced Monday in Owensboro by Chief District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr.

A jury convicted Whalen on July 26 after a three-day trial. The jury determined that Whalen had taken the girl in 2009 from her home in Owensboro to Sturgeon Bay, Wis., with the intent of having sex with her. The girl was found unharmed with Whalen at a Wisconsin motel the next day, after an Amber Alert was issued. Wisconsin police said at the time that there was no sign that Whalen had harmed or sexually assaulted the girl while they were traveling.

Officials said Whalen met the girl when she and her mother lived briefly in Maine. The incident occurred not long after the girl and her family moved to Kentucky from Maine, police have said.

Whalen was accused of showing up at the girl’s Kentucky home on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, and leaving with the girl. They drove from Owensboro to Wisconsin, stopping at a McDonald’s along the way, while on their way to Sturgeon Bay, Wis., where a sister of Whalen’s was living, police have said.

According to media reports, Whalen became a suspect in the girl’s disappearance after he and the girl were recorded by a video camera at a McDonald’s in Hardinsburg, Ky. A McDonald’s employee had heard about the Amber Alert and recalled having seen the duo and the Maine license plate on Whalen’s Ford Explorer truck, Kentucky law enforcement officials said at the time.

The girl’s mother subsequently recognized Whalen from the McDonald’s video, news reports indicated.

Where the girl’s family may have lived in Maine has not been disclosed. According to Bangor Daily News archives, Whalen lived in the Ellsworth area as far back as 1990.

Federal court documents from the Kentucky case indicate that witnesses testified at Whalen’s trial in July that Whalen, leading up to the incident, had been developing an inappropriate relationship with the girl. Whalen was accused of writing the girl what prosecutors described as a “love letter” and, when asked about it while testifying on the witness stand, Whalen said the girl “wasn’t my girlfriend. We was really good friends and there was discussion that maybe when she turned 18 that that could be a possibility,” according to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors.

Prosecutors also presented evidence that Whalen sent the girl instant messages via Yahoo, telling her he planned to drive to Kentucky so they could go away together and not to let anyone know, court documents indicate.

The sentencing memorandum indicated that the victim testified she had sexual intercourse with Whalen at some point during their relationship.

Whalen denied ever doing so and testified he went to Kentucky because he was concerned the girl was in danger of being abused by others.

Maine State Police assisted police in Kentucky in trying to find Whalen. Whalen, who has sisters who live in Hancock and South Bristol, had last been seen in the Ellsworth area on Friday, Sept. 25, two days before he was arrested in Wisconsin, Maine State Police said at the time.

Whalen previously has faced criminal charges in Penobscot and Hancock counties, according to court records. He was indicted in Penobscot County in August 1990 on burglary and theft charges. In 2008, he faced a charge in Ellsworth District Court of operating a motor vehicle while his license was suspended or revoked, but the charge later was dismissed, court records indicate.

Whalen also had a prior federal criminal record before the 2009 incident, according to an online federal database of court records and other legal document database websites.

Information about the nature of Whalen’s prior federal offenses could not be found in the federal court document database, but information posted there indicates that Whalen was on federal probation in the mid-1990s when he violated his probation twice. Whalen was ordered back to prison for another six months in December 1994 and then in July 1995 was ordered to spend another 12 months in prison, according to the federal court database.

According to copies of federal documents posted on the websites of OpenJurist and FindLaw, Whalen had been convicted in 1991 in federal court of firearms offenses and sentenced to serve two years in prison. He later violated his resulting federal probation by assaulting a woman in New York in October 1994 and then the same woman again in Sullivan, Maine, in June 1995, the documents indicate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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