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Deputy arrested on rape charge
SoVaNow.com / November 21, 2012Bond was set at $100,000 for former Mecklenburg County deputy sheriff Christopher Smith, who made his first court appearance Tuesday in Halifax after being arrested Friday on a charge of juvenile rape.
Smith, a four-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was terminated from the department immediately after his arrest Friday. He was apprehended without incident after agents with the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation descended on the officer’s home on Philbeck Road in Skipwith.
A bond hearing was held in Halifax County Juvenile and Domestic Court on Tuesday, Nov 20. Smith has been charged with one felony count of forcible rape of a juvenile (under age 13) by an adult.
Since there was no preliminary hearing on Tuesday, the juvenile involved in the case did not have to testify. A State Police spokesperson said the case involves a juvenile female.
After his arrest by State Police, Smith, 34, was taken to the county jail in Boydton to go before a magistrate. Mecklenburg County Sheriff Bobby Hawkins said Smith was later transferred to a regional jail in Paumunkey, where he was held until Tuesday’s bond hearing.
At the county jail, Hawkins delivered a termination notice to Smith in person.
Smith most recently worked as a road deputy.
The investigation is being handled by the Virginia State Police at the request of Hawkins, who sought out an independent probe in August after allegations against a then-unnamed deputy first surfaced. Randy Krantz, Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney, has been named as special prosecutor to oversee the investigation. Krantz took over the case from Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Freshour, who was initially appointed as special prosecutor by the Virginia Supreme Court but subsequently recused himself due to a conflict. Mecklenburg chief prosecutor Nora Miller also recused due to conflicts.
On Friday, Hawkins said the State Police informed him of the arrest shortly before it took place. No one from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department was involved in the operation.
“From day one when I turned over the investigation to them, I’ve kept my hands off it,” said Hawkins on Friday afternoon. “I didn’t want to compromise my office.”
Virginia State Police say the investigation is ongoing. It is being handled by Special Agent D. Leslie with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Appomattox.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article that appeared in the Nov. 21 print edition of The Mecklenburg Sun stated that Smith waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He has not. The Sun apologizes for the error. 2055
CommentsInnocent until proven guilty!!!! Smith did not waive his right to a preliminary hearing. You people do not know how to get the facts right. Smith is being falsely accused by this juvenile. Why don't you print that!!!!
- By concerned citizen on 11 / 29 / 12
CommentsWait forcible rape of a child under 13 & 100,000 dollar bond..black youth charged with 2 cocaine charges no bond which do you consider the biggest threat yeah innocent until proven guilty remember that next time you read the paper and the accused is not your family or friends
- By Rod Windsor on 12 / 11 / 12
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