By: Anne Geggis
A teenager’s revelation that a man had been molesting her since she was six years old led to the discovery that he had also been victimizing other children, some of them when they were younger than 12 years old.
Smith Jean Charles, 49, of Margate, was arrested May 14 on eight charges, some of which could mean life imprisonment.
All the charges he’s jailed on involve sexual crimes against a child younger than 12 years old.
The story came out when a 17-year-old girl went for a medical exam. That’s when authorities learned Charles had been touching her since she was old enough for first grade and began penetrating her vagina and anus with his penis beginning at ten years old, police said.
“During the sexual intercourse, defendant Charles would tell the victim that she was pretty and would kiss her,” the report says.
The abuse continued until the girl was 14 when she told her mother about it. The victim’s mother confronted Charles, and then kept him away from her child after that, police said.
The report does not show how the victim is related to the defendant. Much of the abuse had occurred in either Coral Springs or Margate when the girl was in his custody, however.
When the victim revealed what happened last December, at Broward Health Coral Springs, police were informed, and an investigation began.
That’s when they found out that Charles had been accused by other children, who had accounts that resembled the 17-year-old’s story, police said.
Charles was taken to the Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale, where he’s currently being held on $100,000 bail.
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- Anne Geggis has been a newspaper reporter for 30 years, most recently at the Sun Sentinel. She graduated from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., with a double major in journalism and sociology.
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