DA: SC man accused of grooming teen pled guilty to statutory rape

Man Pleads Guilty to Rape
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 11:34 AM EDT
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FRANKLIN, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said a South Carolina man who used social media to groom and entice an underage teen to meet him in both Franklin and Cherokee pleaded guilty to statutory rape.

The D.A. said 34-year-old Jonathan A. Wyles of Lancaster, South Carolina had sexual intercourse three times in December of 2021 with a minor who was 15 years old at the time.

“This situation serves as a cautionary tale for parents or guardians,” Welch said. “The defendant preyed on this child after targeting her for exploitation in a teen hangout.”

Welch said the victim’s mother reported to Franklin police that her child had been sexually assaulted after the mother discovered incriminating messages on a phone. Earlier that same month, Wyles had devised a plan for the teen to tell her mother that she would be staying with a friend, but instead she met with him.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Bill Coward sentenced Wyles to serve in prison a minimum of 240 months up to a maximum of 348 months.

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