• Sheriff: Man accused of inappropriate touching with teen dog walker

    By: Kathryn Burcham


    MINERAL SPRINGS, N.C. - A Mineral Springs man is facing criminal charges after investigators said he inappropriately touched a teenage girl.
    Deputies arrested 67-year-old Eric Earl Smith Thursday at his home on charges of indecent liberties with a child.
    Detectives said Smith hired a 14-year-old girl to walk his dog, and then made sexual advances towards her.
    "It's evident by what he said, such as, 'Can you keep a secret, can you do this, can you do that,'" said Sheriff Eddie Cathey.
    Investigators said the teenager complained to her parents that Smith tried to kiss her and force her hand into his pants.
    "He's 67 years old, got a lot of health issues, but he did things that you just can't do with any person, much less a 14-year-old," Cathey said.
    At his home on Friday, Smith told Eyewitness News he was unsure exactly what criminal charges he was facing.
    "I don't think I did anything indecent," Smith said.
    Of the allegations investigators described, Smith told Channel 9 it was "not exactly" what happened.
    Smith is out of jail on a $50,000 bond and will face a judge on April 1.

    To see more local news stories, click here.

    Next Up: