McDowell Co. Woman Charged With Rape
In the remote Carolina Hemlocks Campground deep in Pisgah National Forest just outside Mt. Mitchell, 28-year-old Rachael Smith, detectives believe, brought her alleged victim to have sex.
"The victim is 13-years-old," said Yancey County Detective Brian Shuford.
Did Smith spin a web to seduce the alleged victim? Shuford won't say.
"She was camping with these children, including some of her own, and at some point she's alleged to have sex with the victim and also engage in another sex act," said Shuford.
Smith is being held on $100,000 bail in the Yancey County Jail. She also faces two other felony statutory rape charges for alleged incidents in McDowell county. News 13 tried to reach McDowell county detectives for comment but did not get a return call Monday.
"Was she in a white van?" asked Polly Hall, who works at Carolina Hemlocks campground.
"There was just this one incident that stood out," said Hall who believes she remembers Smith suspiciously driving in.
"A woman come in late at night with a van full of kids and it was pouring down rain."
Hall was suspicious because the woman never set up a tent.
"The sheriff called and asked if I had records and so I pulled the entrance journals."
Smith had filled out a recreation fee envelope using Rachel Alison, her first and middle name, to camp for the night.
Yancey county detectives called twice asking Hall's husband who also works at the park for additional night receipts. They received them and discovered Alison Smith had filled out the envelope the weekend of June 7th and 8th.
Statutory rape charges are filed when an alleged victim is under 16, the age of consent and when the defendant is more than six years older than the alleged victim. Smith is scheduled for an initial court appearance Tuesday morning.
by Kimberly King
Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports