A Bar Harbor man was indicted Thursday on charges that he raped and killed a friend in Bar Harbor earlier this summer.
State police accuse Jalique Keene of sexually assaulting and killing Mikaela Conley, 19, of Bar Harbor, at the playground of a local K-8 school early in the morning of June 1.
Keene, 21, was indicted Thursday by a Hancock County grand jury on charges of gross sexual assault and murder. If convicted of the crimes, Keene could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the rape charge and an additional 25 years to life in prison on the murder charge.
The killing shocked and alarmed Bar Harbor, which is better known as a picturesque seasonal tourist destination and gateway community to Acadia National Park. Between June 2, when Conley’s body was found in a section of woods near the intersection of Route 3 and West Street Extension, and the evening of June 4, when Keene was arrested, police released no information about having any possible suspects or whether there might be any ongoing threat to the public.
The fact that Conley’s accused killer is a local resident who grew up in Bar Harbor and was friends with her has further upset many local residents who knew both Keene’s and Conley’s families. Keene and Conley had attended Mount Desert Island High School together, with Keene graduating in 2015, when Conley was a sophomore.
According to a Maine State Police affidavit on the killing, Conley had driven on May 31 to Boston Logan International Airport to pick up Keene, who was returning from playing football in Serbia, and then had driven him back to Bar Harbor. Keene later told police that after they got back to town he had hung out with Conley at her home on Eden Street, across the street from Conners Emerson School, and in the surrounding neighborhood.
Mikaela Conley died early the next morning of blunt force trauma to her head and by strangulation, Detective Tom Pickering of Maine State Police wrote in the affidavit.
Security camera footage recorded outside the school in the early morning hours of June 1 at one point shows Keene picking up Conley over his shoulder and “walking off with her as she is kicking her feet,” the detective wrote.
Hours later, after the sun had risen, the same camera recorded Keene carrying Conley’s apparently lifeless body toward a wooded area adjacent to the playground where her body was found the next day, Pickering added.
If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 1-800-871-7741.
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