Uber driver accused of recording sexual encounter with intoxicated teen

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County Uber driver is charged with secret peeping after investigators say he secretly recorded a sexual encounter with a heavily intoxicated college student.

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Jerry Brewer says on January 7, Gerald William Smelson, 72, picked up two 19-year-olds from Wrightsville Beach.

Brewer said Smelson drove them home. When they arrived, one of the girls got out of the car and went inside, while the other tried to get out and then fell on the ground.

The girl was passed out, Brewer said, so Smelson picked her up, put her back in his car, and took her back to his house.

Smelson allegedly recorded himself having sex with the girl. The next morning, when she came to, Smelson took her home, Brewer said.

The girl went to the hospital, where staff there called Wrightsville Beach Police and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim declined pressing charges.

On March 2, investigators picked up Smelson and charged him with felony secret peeping. Brewer said as well as recording the sexual encounter, Smelson also recorded the car ride.

Brewer said Smelson drives Uber in Downtown Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach.

Investigators believe there may be other victims out there. If you know anything, contact the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office or submit a tip.

Brewer said as far as they know, Smelson still drives for Uber.

Smelson is scheduled to appear in court on March 22.



Categories: Local, New Hanover

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