Authorities report a Manila man has been charged with rape, a class Y felony and sexual assault in the first degree, a class B felony after allegedly assaulting a 13-year-old female in Sharp County.
Austen Christopher Chance Wilkey age 23 was charged in connection with an incident in July of 2021 when the victim was with friends and family near Hardy.
The report states during the day, Wilkey had been showing off a hand gun he had in his possession.
Authorities say later in the day, the victim was in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by Wilkey who was also accompanied by his younger brother. Wilkey began touching the female victim inappropriately and asking if she “wanted to do something”. The female victim stated she did not and told Wilkey she was only 13 years of age. She later told authorities she was aware of the pistol and feared she might be in danger.
Wilkey pulled the vehicle to the side of the road and told the victim to exit the vehicle. He led her into the woods and sexually assaulted her according to authorities.
The victim did not immediately report the incident but disclosed the events to her sister and mother.
After learning of the assault, the victim’s mother reported the assault to the Jonesboro Police Department as it was the closest police department at the time.
The report was forwarded to the Cherokee Village Police Department and an investigation began.
Authorities say a mutual friend of the victim and Wilkey inquired about the incident through text message to Wilkey who acknowledged he was involved In the rape but claimed he had been “high on Xanax and Valium” during the assault.
A search warrant was authorized for seizure of Wilkey’s cell phone, and it was seized and searched the following day.
Based on the victim’s statement and the text messages found on Wilkey’s phone, he was arrested and charged.
Bond for Wilkey has been set at $75,000 cash only.