PORTLAND -- The man arrested for attacking and sexually assaulting a Portland State University student pleaded not guilty Wednesday and said he was in a trance when it happened.

Nate Justin Wheeler, 40, was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse after police say he followed a female student from a MAX train to Neuberger Hall, on the PSU campus.

The woman told officers he attacked her when they were alone in the elevator. Court documents showed he then ran away when the elevator doors opened.

Background: PSU sex assault suspect is former teacher

Wheeler admitted the assault to investigators and said he was in a sexual addiction trance, like in a bubble, when it happened, according to a probable cause statement.

The affidavit adds that Wheeler began drinking and went to a strip club after he ran from the elevator.

Wheeler is a former Hillsboro teacher. He lost his teaching license 12 years ago after pleading guilty to sex abuse and giving marijuana to a minor. He is a registered sex offender.

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