Traverse City Record-Eagle

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July 4, 2014

UPDATE: Maple City man charged with sex crime

TRAVERSE CITY — A registered sex offender is behind bars on accusations he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy in Long Lake Township, a crime interrupted by the victim’s father, authorities said.

Kevin Willard Smythe, 55, of Maple City, appeared Thursday in 86th District Court for arraignment on a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge.

Smythe’s charge stems from an investigation by Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies and a detective into a reported sexual assault Tuesday evening at a Long Lake Township property. Sheriff’s Capt. Chris Clark said it led to a suspect’s arrest.

“The suspect was an acquaintance of the victim’s family,” said sheriff’s Capt. Chris Clark.

Court documents state the victim’s father let Smythe stay in a camper on his property. The incident occurred when the victim, 12, entered the camper to put some of his belongings inside.

“The defendant told him to drop his pants,” the documents state.

Smythe then started a sex act that “was interrupted by (the victim’s) father opening the camper door,” according to documents. Grand Traverse County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg said the victim’s family contacted authorities.

The documents state Smythe waived his Miranda rights and told a detective he assaulted the child, “the son of his friend.”

Court records show that Smythe in 2000 pleaded guilty to a second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge in Grand Traverse County, a case that involved a 10-year-old victim. His conviction led to a lifetime sex offender registration.

Smythe remains in Grand Traverse County’s jail without bond. An 86th District Court preliminary examination is scheduled for July 17.



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