A Hempfield Township man pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony sexual assault charges after police said he raped two girls, now about 16 and 17 years old, many times from when they were 6 years old.

Roger L. Wheeler, 41, of 206 Hadley Road, pleaded guilty to aggravated indecent assault in one case and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse in the other.

The older girl first accused Wheeler of sexually assaulting her in 2004. Wheeler claimed the girl was making up the story.

He confessed during a polygraph examination in 2005, but the case was dropped because the girl chose not to testify. The following December, she reported Wheeler had been inappropriately touching her again, and said she did not testify earlier because of pressure from her family.

She said Wheeler had molested her “a lot” and told her “if you let me do this, I’ll give you money or candy.”

The second victim also told police Wheeler assaulted her from the age of 6. She said he’d take off her clothes, with her fighting back in the process. She said when Rogers raped her in August 2007, she screamed and fought back.

The girl told a forensic specialist that Wheeler told her “don’t tell anyone because no one would believe you.” The girl said she believed if she told anyone, she would be beaten.

The victim also said she told her mother about the abuse, who said she’d talk to Rogers and urged her to keep it quiet.

In exchange for his plea, Rogers had charges of rape and other counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault dropped.

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