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$1 million bond for Gold Hill man charged in sex offenses

By Shelley Smith
ssmith@salisburypost.com
GOLD HILL — A Gold Hill man charged with more than three dozen sex offenses against two young girls, including first-degree rape, was in the Rowan County jail under a $1 million bond Friday.
Authorities arrested Galen Lee Smith, 40, of 1175 St. Peters Church Road, Thursday night.
According to the arrest warrant obtained by Rowan County Sheriff’s Detective Clint Mauldin, the incidents took place between 1997 and 2005 and involved two female victims.
At least one of the girls was younger than 13 when some of the offenses occurred, according to the arrest warrants.
Among the charges Smith faces are seven counts of first-degree rape of a child; two counts of attempted first-degree rape; nine counts of first-degree sex offense on a child; and 14 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.
According to North Carolina law, a person is charged with first-degree rape of a child when the suspect is 18 or older and the victim younger than 13.
Smith also faces one count of disseminating obscene material to a minor younger than 16. The warrant for that charge alleges Smith made one of the victims watch pornography on a computer.
Smith is scheduled to make his first appearance in court Monday.
According to county records, Smith bought his property on St. Peters Church Road in 2008. He also is listed as the owner of property in Spencer.
Contact reporter Shelley Smith at 704-797-4246.

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