Investigators say Opelika attorney shows pattern of sexual abuse against minors

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) -  An Opelika attorney appeared in a Lee County courtroom Wednesday, not to defend a client,  but to defend himself against sexual misconduct allegations.

According to Lee County authorities, 33-year-old Gabriel Smith is accused of an incident happening almost 15 years ago in 2003.

"A victim was claiming digital penetration and sexual abuse by Mr. Gabriel Smith," said Lee County Investigator Mitchell Allen.

Investigators say around 2011, one of the victims told some family and friends of the incident which allegedly happened between June and August of 2003.

Smith was 18 at the time of the incident and the victim was six years old.

Investigators said the case doesn't stop here as they are looking into the cases of four other alleged victims. Authorities said no charges stem from these incidents, but one of the victims claims they were sexually abused by Smith more than once.

Smith is said to be between 15 and 18 years old at the time of the incidents and the victims anywhere from 6 to 13 years old.

Defense attorney Benjamin Howard Parr said any witnesses or victims may not have detailed enough recollection of the alleged incidents and witnesses may not remember either.

Authorities said some of the incidents allegedly happened at "Believers Church" in Auburn where Smith is said to have confessed his actions to church officials.

Ultimately, Judge Steven Speakman found probable cause and this case will be presented to a Lee County grand jury at a later date.

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