Gering Police arrested a 41-year-old man Tuesday on charges alleging he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl.

Joseph Smith, alias Joby Smith, of Gering, has been charged with two counts of first-degree forcible sexual assault, a Class II felony, and two counts of third-degree sexual assault without consent, a Class I misdemeanor. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Scotts Bluff County Court Wednesday.

Gering Police began an investigation on July 15 after being contacted by a Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services caseworker. The caseworker advised that a 16-year-old girl alleged she had been sexually assaulted.

A CAPstone interview was arranged and the girl was interviewed. During the interview, the girl alleged she had been assaulted by Smith on six occasions. The girl alleged the first assault occurred when Smith wrestled with her, and placed his hand in a private area. She reported other occurrences where she alleged Smith had fondled her or performed sexual acts or he would ask her to fondle him or perform sexual acts. The most recent assault, the girl reported, occurred on July 6, when she alleged he had come into her bedroom and told her that he had stayed home. The girl alleged he forced her to perform a sexual act and that Smith sexually assaulted her.

Police interviewed Smith on July 15 and he was arrested after the interview.

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Maunette Loeks is the digital news editor of the Star-Herald. Contact her at 308-632-9054 or by email at mloeks@starherald.com.

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