A former West Virginia police officer and father of a teen charged with child sexual assault and abuse of a child in the 1970s was arrested in Florida and charged with one count of child abuse.
Robert C. Smith Jr., 57, was arrested Friday in Palm Beach County on charges of child sexual exploitation and abuse, according to a release from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.
He was released on a $100,000 bond and was being held at the Palm Bay Detention Center in the state of Florida.
Smith was a West Virginia state trooper and a former police officer in the Charleston County sheriff’s office.
He retired from the Charleston police in 1999, according the sheriff’s release.
He resigned from the state police in 2012, according records.
Smith is accused by several former employees of abusing or neglecting children over a period of at least a decade in the town of West Virginia’s Greenbrier region, according a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Charleston on Friday.
The complaint says Smith lured a girl from a church to a hotel room in the 1990s and sexually abused her, forcing her to perform oral sex on him.
Smith’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Smith worked in the Greenbriar Police Department and was employed by the sheriff at the time, according his LinkedIn page.
He did not respond to multiple messages from The Associated Press.
According to a criminal affidavit, the girl told investigators she was abused for about a year, but her testimony was coerced.
She said she told Smith she was 14 years old when she was raped, the affidavit says.
The girl was 13 when the alleged abuse occurred, the document says.
According, the sheriff and detectives told the girl’s parents that Smith was the abuser and that they were not to worry, according documents filed in the case.