MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An investigator for the Hennepin County Public Defender’s office is charged with soliciting sex from a teenage girl.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s office says a 15-year-old girl was arrested by Brooklyn Park police in August for threatening a man with a knife.

The girl told police that she was the victim of sex trafficking, and the man she threatened had sexually assaulted her.

Police obtained a search warrant to look through the victim’s phone, and discovered that she had been in contact with 46-year-old Clayton James Smeby — the father of one of her friends.

The criminal complaint says text messages dated between June 22 and Aug. 10 revealed that Smeby was her “sugar daddy,” and he would give her money and other services in exchange for sex.

Many of the messages were sexual in nature, which Smeby told her to delete from her phone. He also told the victim that she is called “Linda” in his cellphone, according to the complaint.

The victim denied having a sexual relationship with Smeby, and said someone else had access to her phone. She also denied having sex with Smeby on his desk in his office in downtown Minneapolis.

Smeby was arrested on probable cause of soliciting a minor on Sept. 9, when he claimed that he did message the victim, but the sexual messages were intended for an older friend of the girl. He also denied knowing that the victim was 15 years old.

Smeby is in custody, and could face up to three years in prison if convicted.

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