Joshua Delante Wheeler (DOB 02/12/1983) Booking Photo (10/01/2020)
Joshua Delante Wheeler (DOB 02/12/1983) Booking Photo (10/01/2020)

Jury convicts Oceano man of raping 16-year-old young woman he had a duty to protect

Author: District Attorney
Date: 7/8/2021 5:28:30 PM

After a five-day long jury trial, a San Luis Obispo County jury found Oceano resident Joshua Delante Wheeler (38) guilty of eight felony sex crimes, including four counts of forcible rape of a minor.

District Attorney Dan Dow announced today that a San Luis Obispo County jury convicted Joshua Delante Wheeler (DOB 02/12/1983) of eight felony sex crimes committed against a 16-year-old young woman he had a legal duty to care for and protect.

These crimes spanned from May 15, 2019, through March 7, 2020, and Wheeler was 36 years old when he began committing the criminal acts. 

 “I am very proud of this young survivor for her remarkable courage to report the crimes and to testify at trial that made it possible to bring Wheeler to justice,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “This conviction should embolden and encourage other victims of sexual abuse to report the conduct to their teachers or to law enforcement so that the offenders can be brought to justice.”

The defendant is being held without bail at the San Luis Obispo County Jail. Sentencing is scheduled for August 19, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. in Department 10 of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, the Honorable Jesse Marino presiding.  Wheeler faces a maximum possible sentence of 84 years in state prison for his convictions. *It is important to note that due to recent substantial changes to law and regulation, it is nearly impossible to predict how long a defendant will serve in prison before becoming eligible for early parole.  

The case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office with the aid of the District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Melissa Chabra who is assigned to the Sexual Assault Prosecution Unit.

A copy of the charging document can be found here.  A copy of the defendant's booking photo can be found here.

Please contact Assistant District Attorney Eric J. Dobroth at 805.781.5819 with any questions.

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