Fayetteville man molests girl, age 9, and gets life in prison for sex crimes


A Fayetteville man received a life sentence in prison after pleading guilty to sex crimes involving a 9-year-old girl.

District Attorney Marie Broder’s office reported that Christopher Anthony Smith pled guilty April 13 in Fayette County Superior Court to aggravated child molestation, child molestation, false imprisonment, aggravated assault and sexual exploitation of children.

Judge Fletcher Sams sentenced Smith to life imprisonment followed by 20 years of probation.

The case was prosecuted by deputy chief assistant district attorney Warren Sellers.

Had the case gone to trial, the state was prepared to show that the girl and her mother were living with Smith in his home from September to early November of 2022.

The mother came home from work the morning of Nov. 6 and found Smith and the girl in the same bed. Both were naked, and the child was frightened, according to the DA’s office.

When the mother went to call 911, the defendant became angry and took her phone away. She left the residence, but he went outside and forced her back inside, then grabbed a knife and lunged toward her with it. She moved but received a puncture wound in the arm, authorities stated.

Deputies from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from a neighbor. Upon their arrival, the mother begged them to help her and her daughter get away from the defendant. The child then came to the door “shaking in fear,” the report stated, and both exited the residence.

The defendant grabbed a butcher knife and threatened law enforcement, saying that anyone who came inside the home would be killed. He then barricaded himself in the home.

After several hours, law enforcement officers were able to remove the knife from the defendant and take him into custody.

Detective Taweyla Wilson of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. She searched the defendant’s phone pursuant to a search warrant and discovered images which revealed that on several different occasions the defendant had forced the child to perform oral sex.

“The sentence was appropriate considering the defendant’s violent attack, his threat of attack on law enforcement officers and the fact that the child will most likely suffer the negative effects of the defendant’s abuse for the rest of her life,” said Sellers.

“My offices will continue to aggressively pursue those that prey on innocent children,” said Fayette District Attorney Broder. “Their deplorable behavior will not be tolerated.”