ELLSWORTH, Maine — A jury on Friday found a Bar Harbor man guilty of gross sexual assault.
Tyler Hamblen, 20, had sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl on or around Nov. 19, 2011, according to testimony heard during the one-day trial in Hancock County Superior Court. Hamblen was 18 at the time.
The victim testified that the two had met at an event held for teenagers on Saturdays. She said the two exchanged text messages and photographs during the following week, and Hamblen picked her up from the same event a week later. She said they drove to a different location in Ellsworth and had sex before he drove her back to the event.
Troy Gardner of the Maine State Police said the incident came to his attention after the victim’s mother found out and contacted police. Gardner interviewed both Hamblen and the victim, and they admitted to what happened. Hamblen was summoned and later indicted as a result.
“The issue is the age,” assistant district attorney Mary Kellett told the Bangor Daily News while the jury was deliberating Friday. According to Maine law, a person under the age of 14 cannot legally consent to having sex.
In his closing statement, Hamblen’s attorney, Ferdinand Slater, told the jury,“The question is: Was there any criminal conduct?”
The jury found there was criminal conduct after about 45 minutes of deliberation.
Justice Ann Murray said the sentencing would take place sometime in the future. Hamblen faces up to 30 years in prison and could be fined up to $50,000.