A southwestern Lincoln County man accused of multiple sex-related acts with an 8-year-old in 2012 refused to enter a plea deal in the case Tuesday in Superior Court.
According to Lincoln County Assistant District Attorney Lydia A. Hoza, Joey Allen Smith Jr., if found guilty, faces a sentence of 16 to 20 years in prison for first-degree sex offense, just one of multiple felonies filed against him in the case.
Additional charges include one count of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of indecent liberties with a child, court officials said.
The defendant, represented by Criminal Defense Attorney J. Bradley Smith, of Charlotte, turned down an offer by the state to drop all charges in the case except indecent liberties, Hoza said.
The prosecution also offered probation with a split sentence, including the time Smith already served in jail.
“The defendant would have effectively received probation and…had to register as a sex offender,” Hoza said.
Hoza said the trial could commence as soon as April.
Smith’s last known address was 2571 Thomas Baxter Lane in Cherryville, deputies said.
According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, officers arrested him on Oct. 31, 2012 for engaging in inappropriate behavior with the child on more than one occasion since August of that year.
A relative of the victim reported the alleged behavior to the local law enforcement agency.
Smith was later released from the county jail on a $50,000 secured bond.
Sheriff’s detective Sally Dellinger led the investigation.