75 / 55
      74 / 56
      67 / 55

      Foster Mom: Lynchburg Social Services Didn't Investigate Child Molester

      Amherst County, VA -{}A foster mother says she came forward years before Gary Smith was arrested on child molestation charges but the Lynchburg Department of Social Services did nothing.

      The 50-year-old Smith pleaded 'no contest' to five felony sexual abuse charges against two girls under the age of 10. The foster mother says shortly after a young girl was put into her care, the then 9-year-old girl, told her what happened while at Smith's home in 2008. That's when she says she reported that information to a case worker at the Lynchburg department of Social Services. In court, Thursday, the Amherst County Commonwealth's Attorney said Lynchburg DSS did not follow up on that complaint. And it wasn't until last year, when news of Smith's arrest for the molestation of another child broke, that the foster mother and child recognized him and came forward once again. The woman is very upset saying this could have been avoided had the Lynchburg department investigated Smith after she reported him. We reached out to the Lynchburg Department of Social Services. They refused to comment on the specifics of this case but they say when they receive any valid complaint, a case worker goes out and investigates. But if a case, like this one, is out of their jurisdiction they will then forward the information to the appropriate department. They couldn't say if that happened in this situation or not.


      Amherst County, VA -{}A foster parent in Amherst County pleaded no contest to molesting two girls under the age of 10. Police began looking into 50-year-old Gary Smith after the Amherst County Department of Social Services brought it to their attention last April. They arrested Smith in June on 6 felony charges. The Amherst County Department of Social Services began looking into Smith in 2014. But according to details revealed in court, another foster parent had reported that Smith molested a 9-year-old girl that was in his care back in 2008. Maddox says in 2008, Smith and his wife began fostering a 9-year-old girl, one of 8 children they have fostered over the years. The girl told investigators that Smith came into the room and began inappropriately touching her while she was watching cartoons, and that wasn't the only time. According to Maddox, when the girl was put into the care of other foster parents later that year -- she told them what happened. They then immediately reported it to social services.{}Another case involving a 10-year-old girl was brought to their attention in 2014. Smith reached a plea agreement today where he pleaded 'no contest' to 5 out of the 6 felony child molestation charges. When sentenced in July, Smith faces up to 30 years in prison.{}--------------------------------------------------Amherst, VA - An Amherst man has been arrested on two felony charges for sexual battery of a minor.Gary Paul Smith was arrested on June 23rd and is being held at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail.According to authorities, the charges were filed as a{} result of an ongoing investigation that started back in April after the Amherst County Department of Social Services asked for help from law enforcement with a case being worked on by their agency involving the sexual molestation of a minor.Additional charges may be filed as investigators learn more facts about the case.