Greenwood man, 18, arrested for molesting middle school girls
Police say a young predator targeted young girls in Greenwood.
The 18-year-old suspect, Wesley Branham, is already being held in the Johnson County jail, on charges he molested two middle school-aged girls in the Barton Farms neighborhood.
But now police believe they weren't his only victims.
Parents can hardly believe what police say happened to young girls in their Greenwood neighborhood.
"Here?! Right next door to my, my girls? Well, it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach," said neighbor Bobbi McMasters.
"I had no idea. That bothers me, yeah," added neighbor James McCracken.
Investigators say 18-year-old Wesley Branham, who was recently evicted from his home on Stetson Avenue because of loud noise complaints, targeted middle school aged-girls, then sexually assaulted them.
He's been jailed for a month on charges of child molest, criminal confinement and sexual battery.
Investigators say Branham met girls near his neighborhood and specifically sought out the young ones.
"He would befriend them, start talking to them and then he would either invite them back to his residence or lure them back there, say maybe he was having a party, would they like to come," said Greenwood Assistant Police Chief Matthew Fillenwarth.
But investigators say once Branham got the girls inside, he would lock the door and that's when things turned dangerous.
"He'd make aggressive sexual advances on the girls inside," Fillenwarth said. "The one girl actually physically had to fight him to get him off of her."
According to court documents, a 13-year-old and 14-year-old were assaulted and "yelled for Branham to stop."
In later text messages, he told the girls "age is just a number", when they told him "Uhh ur 18" [sic].
Now, investigators believe there are more victims.
"Detectives are already looking into a couple of other allegations with a couple of other juveniles and as they talk to people, keep getting the same theme over and over - he was aggressive with the young girls," Fillenwarth explained. "We believe there are probably more victims out there that we need to get in contact with."
"It's devastating," said Barton Farms property manager Jennifer Hedges. "As a mother myself - I have a 12 year old daughter, so it's extremely scary. And we will be letting all of our residents know what's going on today just in case there's anyone else that hasn't reported to police yet."
Investigators are pleading for parents, especially in the Greenwood area, to talk with their teens, to keep an -accused predator from striking again.
If you were a victim, or know someone who may have been a victim, contact the Greenwood Police Investigations Division at 317-887-5619.