Local News

Cary man charged with soliciting 'sexts' from teen

Posted July 17, 2013
Updated July 18, 2013

— Investigators say a father checking his 16-year-old daughter's cellphone and finding nude photos on it led Cary police to arrest a 28-year-old man Tuesday on a first-degree charge of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Capt. Don Hamilton, head of investigations for the Cary Police Department, said Wednesday that Josh Parker Wheeless enticed the teen to send him "sexts" – nude photos via text message – and then sent her nude photos of himself.

Wheeless, of 1212 Wicklow Drive, was in the Wake County jail Wednesday afternoon under a $250,000 bond. The charge carries a maximum of 231 months in prison.

Hamilton would not say how Wheeless knows the girl.

"They're acquaintances. The suspect knew the family, has known the family quite a while," he said. "They're not related."

Wheeless works as a door-to-door salesman, investigators said, and according to a cached version of its website, Wheeless was once a minister of youth and outreach for Landmark Freewill Baptist Church in Cary.

Cary man accused of 'sexting' with teen Cary man accused of 'sexting' with teen

The website also says the married father of three girls also graduated from Southeastern Free Will Baptist College in 2011 with a degree in pastoral theology and practical ministry.

The church released a statement Thursday reiterating its commitment to keep children safe.

"We have a screening process for all volunteers and staff personnel who work in our ministry," the statement said. "We have recently learned that a former employee of this ministry has been arrested. While his employment ended prior to his arrest, we ask that you join us in praying for the victim, the law enforcement officials and all the families impacted."

Hamilton said the first-degree charge is rare, and Wheeless's case is one of few instances where the victim is actually known to the alleged perpetrator.

The more common scenario involves digital photos found and shared over the Internet where the perpetrator does not know the victim.

Police said more charges are possible as their investigation continues.

94 Comments

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  • ihatewralcensorship Jul 23, 9:06 a.m.

    When will WRAL finally take this down? Hasnt the family suffered enough? We will see that there will be no other 'victims'...ha some victim...sent him texts as well...this was a total one off.

  • LastSon1981 Jul 19, 11:57 a.m.

    almost always a middle aged white man involved in something with kids smh - alwayzj

    WRAL lets this one slip through but look out if you want to post something exactly like this about another race...hmmm agenda? pandering? covering? Yes. And in response to the comment - go look up the offenders in jail right now for this crime, you will be surprised. Amazing how perceptions can be changed based on what is and isn't reported.

    theblazer

    Almost like the whole black people kill black people in Chicago thing. Whats worse

  • theblazer Jul 19, 8:09 a.m.

    almost always a middle aged white man involved in something with kids smh - alwayzj

    WRAL lets this one slip through but look out if you want to post something exactly like this about another race...hmmm
    agenda? pandering? covering? Yes.
    And in response to the comment - go look up the offenders in jail right now for this crime, you will be surprised.
    Amazing how perceptions can be changed based on what is and isn't reported.

  • fourwesterns Jul 18, 5:17 p.m.

    Why does the media always feel the need to connect these individuals to a church or religious organization?

  • kikinc Jul 18, 10:11 a.m.

    corgimom06: You are incorrect. The statute was changed a number of years ago. As creepy as it is, a 16 year old can have a relationship with a 28 year old and it is perfectly legal. The 3 year difference applies to kids 13-15 years of age. It is under statute 14-27.7A. Unfortunate, but true.

  • mrduright Jul 18, 9:24 a.m.

    I find it interesting that everyone is so concerned with this Pedophile's age. Not that he has three daughters at home and a wife or the fact that he was a youth minster, I guess they will want equal rights too. After all they "can't help who they love" and were "born that way"

  • alwayzj Jul 18, 9:21 a.m.

    almost always a middle aged white man involved in something with kids smh

  • corgimom06 Jul 18, 8:52 a.m.

    you are absolutely wrong. any female 16 or older is perfectly legal for any male of any age in NC (unless they are a teacher)
    RockMan

    Yes the age of consent is 16. If you are 16 you can have relations with another 16 or 17 year old. If one person is over 18 and the other under the age of 18 but 16 or older as long as they are not more than 3 years age difference. There can also be a reduced charge is the adult is 3-6 years older. The age difference here is 12 years. It doesn't matter what the girl said to this man-he is the adult and he should know better. And the article said that the suspect knew the family and that he had sent nude photos of himself. If he knew the family then he should have known she is a minor and that this was wrong.

  • iamd74 Jul 18, 8:04 a.m.

    iwannaseethereceits--Please read the info you provided, the age range only applies if she is under 16. She is not so the photos are what are illegal.

  • RockMan Jul 17, 7:34 p.m.

    "People, please read up on the age of consent. There is an age range that applies and this pervert does not fall into it. http://www.age-of-consent.info/states/North_Carolina"

    you are absolutely wrong. any female 16 or older is perfectly legal for any male of any age in NC (unless they are a teacher)

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