Franklin man charged with sexual assault

A Franklin man has been accused of attempting to sexually assault a juvenile male on March 26.

A criminal complaint filed Thursday in district judge Andrew Fish’s office by the Franklin police department names Nathaniel Matthew Wheeler, 18, of Franklin in the incident.

According to the complaint, police were called to a Franklin residence on Wednesday to investigate a possible sex crime.

It was discovered that Wheeler was on a home pass from a local detention center from March 25-28. During that period, he solicited a young male to engage in sexual activity, the complaint said.

Wheeler admitted to police that during his home pass he intended to have sex with his girlfriend, which never occurred. He said that left him feeling depressed and his sexual needs were not met. He was alone with the juvenile male at about 7 p.m. on March 26, the complaint said.

Wheeler made several attempts while alone with the juvenile to get the child to perform a sexual act, using graphic language. The juvenile repeatedly refused and the defendant eventually exposed himself to the child, the complaint said.

Wheeler provided police with an admission/confession and a written statement, the complaint said.

According to court documents, Wheeler was arraigned before Judge Fish on Thursday and was placed in the Venango County jail on $75,000 bail.

Wheeler is charged with a felony count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 16 years of age. He is also charged with misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure and indecent assault with a person less than 13 years of age.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in Central Court.