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Lusby man sentenced for raping teen

Andrew Keith Hale

Leonardtown, MD- A Lusby man was sentenced Monday, May 7 in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court for the rape of a 15-year-old girl.

Andrew Keith Hale, 20, was indicted in July 2017 on three counts of second-degree rape, second-degree sex offense, and third-degree sex offense. In January, Hale pleaded guilty to third-degree sex offense and avoided a trial.

During sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Julie White told the court the victim was given large amounts of alcohol and became so intoxicated she couldn’t walk on her own. White said Hale drove her to Point Lookout and had sex with her while she was in and out of consciousness. “She couldn’t defend herself because she was so intoxicated,” White explained.

Both the victim and her mother spoke in court ahead of the sentencing. The victim’s mother said, “I don’t think he was a predator but he turned into one that night.” She went on to tell Judge Karen H. Abrams that her daughter is now afraid of most men and couldn’t attend school because of her anxiety. The victim’s mother was shaking while explaining that her daughter had to undergo several rounds of anti-viral medication that made her sick and she is seeing a long-term counselor to help her through the healing process.

The victim, who is now 16 years old and will not be named, offered a tearful victim statement. “I don’t have any friends. I was called a liar and disgusting. I don’t go anywhere. My own siblings look at me differently. I lost myself and everything I had.”
Hale, who was 19 at the time, had a large showing of family support in the courtroom. Mike Watts, a friend of Hale’s, told the court Hale was remorseful and had a momentary lapse in judgment. “That one lapse shouldn’t affect the rest of his life.” White immediately responded, “It will affect her for the rest of her life.”

Hale also spoke to Abrams before his sentencing. “It’s been a hard 10 months [on home detention].” Hale then turned and addressed his victim and apologized. “I’m sorry and I never wanted it to happen and I’m truly, deeply sorry and I hope you get better.”

Hale’s attorney, Benjamin Herbst, referenced Hale’s cooperation since he was indicted. “He followed all instructions and has stayed in contact with pre-trial services. Mr. Hale workings and goes home. He works 40 to 50 hours a week.” Herbst requested a probationary sentence.

Before making her ruling, Abrams said this is a case where everyone is a victim. “This was not a violent crime. It was a crime of arrogance and stupidity and hopefully, that’s fixable.” Abrams sentenced Hale to 10 years, with all but 18 months suspended, and three years of supervised probation. Abrams ordered Hale to register as a Tier III sex offender and authorized him work release.

Abrams offered several words of encouragement to the victim saying, “He should not be defining your life for you. You define your own life.”

Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

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