OSWEGO – On Monday (March 19) morning, Shawn Whaley, 24, appeared before the Hon. James McCarthy, Oswego County Supreme Court, and pleaded guilty to the entire indictment that was filed against him.
Whaley, whose jury trial was scheduled to begin Monday, pleaded guilty to 13 separate offenses, including six felonies that occurred in the town of Albion during the summer of 2017.
Whaley pleaded guilty to one count of Assault 2nd (D Violent Felony), three counts of Coercion 1st (D Non-violent Felony), Unlawful Imprisonment 1st (E Non-violent felony), and Tampering with Physical Evidence (E Non-violent felony), and seven counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (A Misdemeanor).
In exchange for his pleas, the court promised him a sentence of 2-1/2 to 7 years in state prison, along with 3 years post-release supervision.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 29.
As part of his plea, Whaley admitted that he intentionally caused physical injury to a 10-year old female child in August of 2017 by pulling and/or dragging her with a rope that was attached to a motor vehicle (Assault 2nd).
He also admitted that he compelled the same child to walk in the woods on three separate occasions in August of 2017 by instilling in her a fear that she would be physically injured if she did not comply with the demand (3 counts of Coercion 1st).
In pleading to the Unlawful Imprisonment 1st, Whaley admitted that he acted together with others to hold down the same 10-year old child against her will and then duct-tape and/or zip-tie her arms and legs, place duct-tape over her mouth, and then insert hot sauce in her mouth through a small opening in the duct-tape.
In pleading guilty to Tampering with Physical Evidence, Whaley also admitted that he and another person removed padlocks from the bathroom and kitchen areas of the residence on Albion Cross Road so that the items would not be available as evidence.
Additionally, Whaley admitted to subjecting the same child to repeated physical abuse, which consisted of striking her on various portions of her body with his hand, striking her with a foreign object referred to as a “beating stick,” striking her with a screwdriver, and kicking her with his foot.
He also admitted to forcing the same child to engage in excessive manual labor by forcing her to pull or remove brush / branches from the Albion Cross Road property.
The Oswego County District Attorney’s Office was represented in court today by District Attorney Gregory Oakes and Assistant DA Allison O’Neill, who served as the lead prosecutor on the case.
Whaley was represented by Attorney Salvatore Lanza of Fulton.
District Attorney Oakes said that he is proud of the young victim, who escaped the home and ran to a neighbor to seek help.
“This little girl was incredibly brave and likely saved her own life,” he said.
Oakes commended the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office, adding “The investigators did an outstanding job and built a very strong case against Whaley.”
The District Attorney also thanked the Oswego County Department of Social Services and the McMahon-Ryan Advocacy Center, who have coordinated efforts to provide mental health and other services to the children over the past several months.
“This case is a testament to the multi-disciplinary process and shows the positive outcomes that can happen when agencies work together,” Oakes said.