A Seymour man is facing a sex crime charge after police say he and a minor had a sex act in a Franklin hotel room.
William Tyler Royalty, 21, was charged with sexual misconduct with a minor, a felony 4, in Johnson County 2 Superior Court on July 28. An arrest warrant was issued on Wednesday.
Franklin police began investigating Royalty in May after being notified by the Department of Children’s Services of a case that had been transferred from Shelby County. Shelbyville police were investigating a case of shoplifting and during that investigation they learned that a 21-year-old man, later identified as Royalty, had sexual contact with a 14-year-old in a hotel in the 2000 block of Holiday Lane in Franklin between April and early May, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Franklin detectives later received documents from the Shelbyville police shoplifting investigation. The documents showed that Royalty was arrested for theft following a series of shoplifting incidents and that he was arrested along with two minors. One of the minors told Shelbyville officers that Royalty had had sex with the teenager, who was a friend of theirs, according to the affidavit.
The juvenile witness was at the Frankin Hotel with the teen, Royalty and three other witnesses when she saw the teen and Royalty conduct a sex act. The witness had taken video of the act and shown it to Shelbyville police, the affidavit states.
Shelbyville police have spoken with the teen and his parents, and the teen has denied the allegations. The teen’s parents then authorized the police to search for their phone, and later Royalty authorized the officers to search for her phone. They also had access to the witness’ phone, the affidavit states.
Franklin detectives then spoke with the teenager, and they said Royalty was their best friend and they knew he was 21. The teenager had met Royalty through a relative and said the duo wanted to date him when the teenager would have turned 18. That conversation had taken place on the teenager’s 14th birthday, according to the affidavit.
The teenager confirmed that they had engaged in a sexual act with Royalty and that the witness had recorded a video of it. The teenager told detectives that Royalty didn’t ask them to do it, however, he didn’t stop them from doing it once it happened. They also said Royalty had met their parents, and the teen and Royalty told them he was 17, according to the affidavit.
Police then viewed video of the incident and spoke with the witness who recorded it and other witnesses. They confirmed the incident happened and that the teen and Royalty were dating, the affidavit states.
Detectives then spoke to Royalty in Seymour, who denied dating the teenager and conducting a sex act with them. Later that day Royalty called detectives and told them he had performed a sexual act with the teenager and said he knew it was illegal. He also said nude photographs of the teenager were sent to him, but he deleted them soon after they were sent, the affidavit states.
Police had also found two nude videos on the phone, the affidavit states.
A warrant for Royalty was issued on August 1 and he was taken to Johnson County Jail on Wednesday. His bail was set at $1,500 Thursday morning.