Judge reinstates 3-year sentence for pedophile State term will be added to his 10-year federal stint

November 04, 1997|By Scott Higham | Scott Higham,SUN STAFF

A pedophile who molested two Baltimore County brothers before they took their lives in separate suicides was ordered yesterday to spend three more years behind bars for violating his probation because he continued to contact one of the brothers long after a 1990 sex abuse conviction.

Peter Dudley Albertsen II admitted that he violated his probation by secretly following Justin Wilke and sending him love letters and a videotape of child pornography while he was under a court order to keep away.

Within 15 months of Albertsen mailing the tape in 1995, Justin Wilke, 19, his brother, Matt, 22, and their father, Don, 56, killed themselves, asphyxiating themselves by filling their cars with carbon monoxide.

Serving a 10-year term in federal prison for mailing the illegal tape, Albertsen, 35, remained unrepentant when he appeared yesterday before the same judge who gave him five years' probation for molesting Justin Wilke seven years ago.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Edward J. Angeletti reinstated the three-year prison term he suspended in that case and said that he was saddened that it seemed no amount of jail time would keep Albertsen from abusing children.

"The tragedy of this case will never be diminished by any activity that this court engages in," the judge said, ordering Albertsen to register as a sex offender wherever he goes after he serves the 10-year federal term and then the three-year state sentence.

Albertsen, dressed in tan prison clothes, his hands clasped behind him, had little to say. He asked the judge to postpone the hearing because he wanted to prepare a statement, but the judge refused.

The case dates to 1985, when Albertsen met Justin and Matt Wilke while working as a counselor at a Monkton summer camp. He befriended the brothers and their parents, and then began to molest the boys at his Hampden rowhouse.

Albertsen was arrested in 1990, indicted in a series of crimes. But prosecutors dropped the charges involving Matt and most of those involving Justin. In return, Albertsen pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse for molesting Justin.

State psychologists and prosecutors recommended that Albertsen receive a suspended three-year prison term, serve five years of probation and stay away from all children, including Matt and Justin. Angeletti accepted the recommendation.

But Albertsen didn't stay away. He followed Justin and sent him love letters, according to records and testimony that surfaced years later. In May 1995, shortly before his probation was to have expired, Albertsen mailed a package to Justin for his 19th birthday. Inside was a videotape containing child pornography. By mailing it, Albertsen had committed a federal crime.

For Justin and Matt and their father, the tape represented their inability to keep Albertsen away. Devastated by the abuse of his sons and the breakup of his marriage when his wife moved to Florida, Don Wilke ended his life two days after Thanksgiving 1995.

Three months later, Justin took his life. In August 1996, Matt, 22, who believed he should have done more to protect Justin, funneled carbon monoxide into his car.

U.S. Customs and Postal Inspection agents arrested Albertsen the day after Christmas last year. He pleaded guilty to sending the tape to Justin and received the maximum sentence this summer -- 10 years in federal prison without parole.

With evidence from the federal investigation, state prosecutors built a case against Albertsen for violating his probation. They said that Albertsen left letters, notes and gifts on Justin's car. He followed Justin and mailed the tape to him while on probation.

Friends and relatives who knew Justin and Matt Wilke said yesterday that they were satisfied with the maximum sentence but saddened that Albertsen still doesn't seem to understand how he destroyed the family.

The Rev. Ray Chase, a Roman Catholic priest who worked with the brothers, said that the sentence is what the brothers would have wanted because it will prevent Albertsen from abusing other children. But in the end, he said, no one wins.

"Matt and Justin lose," the priest said. "Matt and Justin's family loses. Pete's family loses. There are no winners."

Pub Date: 11/04/97

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