A Jackson County man faces a felony charge after he committed a sexual act with a minor in the spring at a Franklin hotel room, police report.
William Tyler Royalty, 21, of Seymour was charged with sexual misconduct with a minor, a Level 4 felony, in Johnson County Superior Court 2 on July 28. A warrant for his arrest was issued Wednesday.
Franklin police began investigating Royalty in May after they were notified by the Department of Child Services about a case that had been transferred from Shelby County.
Shelbyville police were investigating a shoplifting case and during that investigation, they learned of a 21-year-old male, later identified as Royalty, who had sexual contact with a 14-year-old at a hotel in the 2000 block of Holiday Lane in Franklin sometime in April to early May, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Franklin detectives were then sent documents from Shelbyville police’s shoplifting investigation. The documents showed Royalty and two juveniles had been arrested for theft following a series of shoplifting incidents. One of the juveniles told Shelbyville officers that Royalty was sexually involved with the other juvenile, according to the affidavit.
The juvenile witness had been at the Franklin hotel with the teen, Royalty and three other witnesses when she witnessed the teen and Royalty conduct a sexual act. The witness had taken a video of the act, and showed it to Shelbyville police, according to court records.
Shelbyville police spoke with the 14-year-old and their parents, and the teen denied the allegations. The teen’s parents then gave police permission to search their phone, and later Royalty permitted officers to search his phone. They also received access to the witness’ phone, the affidavit says.
Franklin detectives then spoke with the teen, and who said Royalty was their best friend and they knew he was 21 years old. The teen had met Royalty through a relative and also said the duo had wanted to date when the teen turned 18. This conversation had taken place on the teen’s 14th birthday, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The teen confirmed they had conducted a sexual act with Royalty and the witness had recorded a video of it. The teen told detectives Royalty had not asked them to do this, however, he did not stop them from doing so once it took place. They also said Royalty had met their parents, and both the teen and Royalty told the parents that he was 17, according to court records.
Police then reviewed the video of the incident and spoke with the witness who had recorded it and other witnesses. They confirmed that the incident happened and that the teen and Royalty were dating, the affidavit says.
Detectives then spoke with Royalty in Seymour, who denied dating the teen and conducting a sexual act with them. Later that day, Royalty called detectives and told them that he had committed a sexual act with the teen and said he knew it was illegal, according to police. He also said nude photographs of the teen had been sent to him, but he had deleted them shortly after they had been sent, the affidavit says.
Police also found two nude videos on the phone, the affidavit says.
A warrant for Royalty’s arrest was issued Monday and he was booked into the Johnson County jail on Wednesday. His bond was set at $1,500, as of Thursday morning.