A former probate judge in Hart County is facing bribery and civil rights violation charges after allegedly soliciting sexual contact in exchange for reduced charges from three women in 2013 and 2014.
Bobby Joe Smith, 77, of Hartwell, was charged with one count of bribery and three counts of civil rights violations in an indictment filed on Thursday.
Smith allegedly met with three women between May 2013 and May 2014 regarding drunk driving charges and other traffic-related offenses. In the first meeting with one of the women, Smith allegedly kissed and groped the woman without her consent. He then reduced the charges she was facing.
During another meeting with a second woman, Smith allegedly kissed her on the lips, groped her and then exposed himself. That woman's charges were also eventually reduced.
A third woman also alleges Smith kissed her and tried to grope her before arranging to have her charges reduced by allegedly leaving a message in which he claimed the woman was his granddaughter.
Smith is expected to appear in court on April 25.
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