An Abingdon man is facing federal charges in a sexual assault on the cruise ship Carnival Legend in January.
Jalen Thomas Kelley, 21, is charged with aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse and assault within the territorial jurisdiction, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland. He is a student and football player at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina, according to the university’s athletics website.
Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, Kelly is alleged to have engaged in a sexual act by force and assaulted a female without her consent on board the Carnival Legend, which had a scheduled departure from and an arrival in Baltimore, according to a grand jury indictment announced by U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the FBI Baltimore Field Office.
Kelley was arrested by the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office in Wingate, North Carolina on Sept. 20. The investigation is continuing, according to a news release from Barron’s office.
If convicted, Kelley faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.
Individuals who may have information regarding this investigation are encouraged to contact the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office at 410-265-8080.