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NCJ Number: 188377 Find in a Library
Title: Child Sexual Abuse Kills: The Story of Justin and Matthew Wilke
Journal: U.S. Postal Inspection Service Bulletin  Dated:February 1998  Pages:1-8
Author(s): Lisa Ward; Andrew C. White; Christain Manuelian; Thomas E. Boyle
Date Published: February 1998
Page Count: 8
Type: Biography
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This bulletin presents the story of Justin and Matthew Wilke and their fight to survive a childhood filled with sexual exploitation at the hands of a trusted friend and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s commitment to the prevention of child sexual abuse.
Abstract: This is a story about two young boys who attempted to live a “normal” life after years of sexual abuse and stalking from a trusted friend. Justin Wilke and Matthew Wilke, from Maryland, were 9 and 11 years old when their 23-year old camp counselor, Peter Albertsen, befriended them. Justin and Matthew’s parents trusted Peter Albertsen and viewed him as an “older brother” and “role model” for their boys. The boys looked up to Albertsen and viewed him as their best friend. During their many visits and contacts with Albertsen, he began to sexually abuse them. Even though the sexual abuse occurred with both boys, the relationship intensified between Justin and Albertsen. Matthew confronted Albertsen and ended the sexual abuse when he was 13, but the abuse continued for his brother Justin. Once Matthew went to his parents, who turned Albertsen into the police, Albertsen received a 3-year suspended sentence and 5 years probation. Albertsen was ordered to undergo therapy and have no contact with Justin or Matthew. The Wilke family attempted counseling with little success. The boys became actively involved in the St. Vincent’s Center for abused and neglected children in Baltimore, Maryland. They worked with children who had been sexually abused. Despite the court restriction placed on Albertsen, he continued to stalk Justin. Matthew made several attempts on his own life feeling he had failed in protecting his brother. After graduating from art school, Justin became a skilled artist and writer. He created a series of four paintings with writings depicting his abuse and its impact on his family. The stalking continued. The continued abuse took its toil on the Wilke family and the boys’ father took his own life. Justin created his fifth and final painting depicting his father’s death and a pair of outstretched hands holding a rabbit. He wanted people to know that child abuse kills. In 1995, Justin received videotapes from Albertsen, depicting children under 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Shortly after, being traumatized by his father’s death, Justin took his own life. Destroyed by his father and brother’s deaths and his failed attempts to protect Justin, Matthew wanted Albertsen brought to justice. The tapes were turned over to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Customs Service, and Matthew agreed to cooperate with both agencies in assisting in the arrest of Albertsen. After helping bring Albertsen to justice, Matthew took his own life. In 1997, Albertsen received 10 years in prison for one-count of mailing child pornography, the statutory limit. In addition, he admitted to violating the terms of his original 3 year suspended sentence and the 3 years was reinstated. Justin’s paintings and writings remain on exhibit at St. Vincent’s Center to educate professionals and others in the field of child sexual abuse about the experience of abuse from a child’s perspective. The artwork is available for presentations or training session for professionals in the field of child abuse.
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Crimes against children
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