LOCKPORT – A West Seneca man faces a potential sentence of life in prison if convicted as charged in a sex crime indictment unsealed Wednesday in Niagara County Court.

Justin C. Wheeler, 20, of Westminster Road, pleaded not guilty to predatory sexual assault against a child, first-degree rape, second-degree sexual abuse and second-degree kidnapping as a sexually motivated felony.

Wheeler is accused of communicating with a 12-year-old girl, picking her up in North Tonawanda Nov. 18 and driving her around the area that day. At some point in their travels, the two allegedly had sex, according to Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello, who said the first-degree rape charge stemmed from the ages of Wheeler and the girl, not from a forcible act.

County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas set bail for Wheeler at $10,000.