Victims Come Forward In 14-Year-Old Sexual Abuse Case

A Missouri man with ties to the heartland has been arrested and charged with three counts of sexual abuse. Officials are concerned that more victims could come forward.

Sixty-eight-year-old Bob Ervin Smith is in the Pottawattamie County Jail, accused of a sexual assault that allegedly happened 14 years ago.

According to an affidavit acquired by Channel 6 News, the alleged victim was 12-years-old going into the 7th grade in 1998. That's when Smith took him away from the town of Harlan, Iowa to go on a fishing trip.

The affidavit notes Smith was the youth coordinator at the First Baptist Church in Harlan back in 1998.

Smith allegedly took the victim to a Council Bluffs motel and molested him.

Later in the affidavit more evidence against Smith comes from his own family.

A male family member claims Smith had a history of sexual problems and that Smith molested him as well as two of his brothers when they were growing up in Harlan. The alleged victim says Smith molested them several times over a period of several years from early childhood until their mid teens.

Smith was arrested, both alleged victims told similar stories about how Smith molested them.

Smith is charged with three counts of third degree sexual assault. Police say the Harlan church is searching for more victims.

"They put something out last week because the guy had worked at the church and if anybody had anything to come to us with it," Harlan Assistant Police Chief Steve Davis said. "We understand that the guys claim that he abused some children either here in town or in our county any way, but as of today nobody come forward and reported it to us."

Smith's trial is set for November. If convicted of all three counts, Smith could serve up to 30 years in jail.

Smith is currently being held on a $50,000 bond.


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