HOOD RIVER, Ore. — A Hood River Sheriff's deputy is accused of sexually abusing a girl who is under 18 years old.
Deputy Marc Alan Smith was indicted by a grand jury this week on charges of luring a minor, sex abuse, invasion of personal privacy, private indecency, online sex corruption of a child and misconduct.
The alleged abuse occurred between September 2015 and September 2016. Documents allege Smith used his Hood River Sheriff's Office-issued phone to record the child while nude.
Zachariah Justice Bennett, 26, was arrested in mid-October in Wicomico County on numerous charges accusing him of sexually exploiting three students at the martial arts center located at 1305 South Division Street in Salisbury. He is currently being held at the county detention center, according to court records.
At time of his arrest, Wicomico County Child Advocacy Center investigators said Bennett was also facing the possibility of charges in Ocean City related to the abuse.
On Nov. 22, the grand jury indicted Bennett on one count of sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of second-degree sex offense, one count of third-degree sex offense and one count of fourth-degree sex offense. He is currently scheduled for an initial appearance in Worcester County Circuit Court on Dec. 14.
The indictment came the same day as that of a Stephen Decatur civics teacher accused of sexting a student. See below.
An indictment is a formal statement of charges issued by a grand jury, a panel of citizens that determines probable cause for a felony to be tried in circuit court. It is not an indication of guilt.
Bennett and his co-defendant in the Wicomico County sex case, 21-year-old Leah Wright, are due in Wicomico County district court on Dec. 1 for a preliminary hearing, according to online court records. Wright is accused of participating with a minor in sexual acts on Bennett.
The Wicomico County case was investigated by Sgt. Martin Fisher, who was arrested on a theft charge this week.
Austin James Martin, 27, of Southwind Court in Berlin, was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a minor and sexual solicitation of a minor on Nov. 10. Martin was accused of exchanging nude photographs and sexual innuendo while working as a civics teacher at Stephen Decatur High School. On Nov. 22, online court records show a Worcester County grand jury filed a single-count sexual abuse of a minor indictment. The solicitation charge was dropped the same day in Worcester County Circuit Court, according to the online records.
The victim was 17 years old at the time of the offense, according to charging papers.
Martin is scheduled for an initial appearance on Dec. 14 in circuit court. If convicted on the charge, he could face up to 25 years in prison, as well as lifetime of registration as a tier III sex offender.
WILLIAMSPORT — A man who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 5-year-old in 1994 has been accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl in Williamsport.
Conard William Carpenter, 52, of Williamsport, was arrested Tuesday and committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $500,000 bail on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual, aggravated indecent and indecent assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The charges stem from an Oct. 17 incident in which the girl's mother reported to police she discovered her daughter's head between Carpenter's legs, as he sat on the edge of a bed wearing only a towel.
The girl told an investigator she would get money after she kissed Carpenter in the genital area and he would put his penis in her mouth, the arrest affidavit alleges.
Carpenter denies the allegations, according to the affidavit.
He said that after taking a bath on Oct. 17, he wrapped a towel around over his boxer shorts and twice went downstairs in the house to get clean clothes. He told the investigator the girl followed him upstairs the second time.
Authorities said Carpenter told them he did not know why the woman or her daughter would accuse him of sexual abuse. He admitted giving her money in the past, the charges state.
He claims he always bathes wearing his shorts due to allegations previously made against him but added he has not seen the boxers since that day, the affidavit states.
The allegations to which Carpenter referred included an acquittal in 1994 of charges that included rape, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors. In a separate case in 1994 he was convicted of one of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption of minors.
Complaints that indicated child sexual abuse in 1993, 2002 and 2007 caused the Lycoming County Children and Youth Services to place his name in the state child abuse registry, said chief County Detective William Weber.
No criminal charges were filed related to those complaints, which involved children ages 7, 13 and 16.