Federal Grand Jury Indicts Jalen Thomas Kelley on Aggravated Sexual Abuse Charges


Baltimore, MARYLAND- A federal grand jury has issued an indictment against Jalen Thomas Kelley, 21, hailing from Abingdon, Maryland. The charges include aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, and assault within the territorial jurisdiction. Kelley was apprehended by the FBI Charlotte Field Office in Wingate, North Carolina, on September 20, 2023.

The announcement of the indictment was made by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Erek L. Barron, alongside Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

According to the indictment, spanning from January 1, 2023, to January 2, 2023, the defendant forcibly engaged in a sexual act and assaulted Victim 1 without consent aboard the Carnival Legend cruise vessel. The vessel had a scheduled departure from and arrival in Baltimore, Maryland.

In the event of a conviction, Kelley could potentially face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. However, it is important to note that actual sentences for federal crimes often fall short of the maximum penalties. The ultimate sentence will be determined by a federal district court judge, who will consider factors including the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other legal parameters.

It is crucial to remember that an indictment does not constitute a declaration of guilt. Any individual charged through an indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in subsequent criminal proceedings.

The investigation remains ongoing, and individuals possessing any information related to this case are urged to contact the FBI Baltimore at 410-265-8080.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI for their diligent efforts in the investigation. He also expressed gratitude to the Wingate University Campus Safety and Wingate Police Department for their valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katelyn Semales and Sean Delaney are handling the federal prosecution of the case, and Mr. Barron extended his thanks to them for their contributions.