Man charged with rape after alleged attack at New Hanover public library's downtown branch

A 23-year-old man now faces charges in connection with sex crimes involving five total alleged victims.
·1 min read

A 51-year-old man faces several charges after allegedly sexually assaulting a female victim near the main branch of the New Hanover County Public Library in downtown Wilmington.

According to a news release from the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the library and nearby parking deck — located at 201 Chestnut St. — in regard to an alleged sexual assault early Wednesday morning.

Franklin Watt Mills was arrested in connection with the crime. He is charged with second-degree rape, second-degree sexual assault and sexual battery.

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According to the news release, detectives met with the female victim, obtained video surveillance footage of the area and were able to identify Mills as the suspect.

Mills is in custody at the New Hanover County Detention Facility under a $500,000 secure bond.

Jamey Cross is the public safety reporter at the StarNews. Reach her at or message her on Twitter @jameybcross.

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Man charged in connection to alleged sexual assault at downtown library