Former Highway Patrol trooper pleads guilty to exposing self to girl
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A former Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper was placed on probation Monday after pleading guilty to endangering the welfare of a child by exposing himself to a pre-teenage girl.
Nathan L. Wheeles, 37, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Authorities alleged that between May 1 and Dec. 31, 2009, Wheeles "acted with criminal negligence in a manner that created a substantial risk to the health" of a child less than 17 years old by "exposing his genitalia" to the girl.
In exchange for the plea, Wheeles was given a suspended imposition of his sentence and placed on two years' supervised probation.
In pleading to the endangerment charge, Wheeles reportedly will not have to register as a sex offender.
Wheeles, a 15-year veteran of the patrol, was appointed as a trooper on Jan. 1, 1997, and resigned Nov. 13.
The charge stemmed from an investigation by the patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control in Troop G after the allegations were reported to the Butler County Sheriff's Department by personnel with the Dunklin County Children's Division, according to Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs.
On May 15, a SAFE examination/interview was conducted with Wheeles' alleged victim in which she talked to investigators about an incident that happened about three years ago, when she was 12.
According to patrol Lt. Phil Gregory's probable cause statement, Wheeles exposed himself to her and made suggestive comments.
Poplar Bluff, MO, Wheeles exposed himself to her and made suggestive comments.
Poplar Bluff, MO