Overland man charged with raping 12-year-old girl

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by Jasmine Huda / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 22 at 7:23 AM

(KMOV) -- An Overland man with a history of rape convictions faces charges after police say he forced a young girl to have sex with him.

Joseph Smith, 53, was charged with two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy and two counts of first-degree child molestation.

Police say Smith was in his apartment off Midland in 2010 when he raped his neighbor's 12-year-old daughter. Police say it wasn't until recently the victim confided in her high school counselor, who alerted authorities.

“(He was) an adult she counted on to take care of her protect her. He preyed on her. Took advantage of her,” said Overland Police Lieutenant Steve Branham. 

Smith was convicted of two counts of statutory rape in 1996.

Neighbors of Smith said the latest charges were a shock.

"He'll do anything for anybody. He's helpful he works hard he goes to work, he does whatever he can," said Stephanie Erdewin. 

But Branham believe he poses a danger to the community.

“He’s been preying on children for years. I mean, up to 30 years that we know of. And this, I promise, this isn't the only child he's taken advantage of," he said.

 

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