BETHLEHEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Bethlehem Police tell NEWS10 ABC they have arrested 55-year-old Carl Smith, of Bethlehem, and charged him with Forcible Touching and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, both class A misdemeanors.
The victim, a teenage boy under the age of 16, had been hired to work at the defendant’s Borthwick Avenue home performing odd jobs.
According to court documents obtained by News10, the teen told officers that Smith would hug him for “long periods” and that after one such hug, Smith allegedly indicated that he was sexually aroused.
The teen also recounted, how on another occasion, Smith allegedly rubbed his groin against the child’s buttocks.
Commander Adam Hornick of the Bethlehem Police Department says the teen’s parents recently noticed a change in their child’s behavior. And when they asked what was the matter, the boy expressed what had allegedly been going on.
“Once again this is one of those times that we ask the parents to have sometimes what could be construed as that awkward conversation with their kids in terms of appropriate and inappropriate behavior that’s happening. And have that good dialogue between the parents and the kids.”
The NYSP Computer Crimes Unit is also involved. Court documents read that they obtained a warrant allowing them to search Smith’s home and investigators seized the defendant’s cellphone, 2 laptops and an external hard drive.
News10’s Anya Tucker went to Smith’s house and also called the Albany County Public Defenders Office for comment on the charges. No one answered the door at the house and we have not heard back from his public defender.
Hornick says the local machinist has no history of similar allegations, but he was known to hire teens to do work around his home. “And our concern is that there could be other individuals that knew him through this same type of way. Or maybe have worked for him. And potentially had other inappropriate conduct.” he said.
Horick says this is an ongoing investigation. If you wish to share any information about this case you are asked to give Bethlehem Police a call at 518-439-9973.