UPDATE: A grand jury indicted a former Grundy County pastor this week, who is accused of attempted child rape.

District Attorney Mike Taylor tells Channel 3, 48-year-old William E. “Tim” Smith, Jr. was indicted on charges of attempted rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery and possession of a controlled substance.

Smith is accused of trying to rape a 12-year-old girl, according to the Grundy County Sheriff's Office.

Taylor says Smith's next court date is July 20.

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PREVIOUS STORY: The case against a Grundy County pastor, accused of attempted child rape, was sent to a grand jury on Tuesday.

District Attorney Mike Taylor tells Channel 3, 48-year-old William E. “Tim” Smith, Jr. is being held in jail on a $200,000 bond.

If Smith makes bond, Taylor says he will be required to wear an ankle monitor and have no contact with the alleged victim.

Smith is accused of trying to rape a 12-year-old girl, according to the Grundy County Sheriff's Office.

Smith's next court date is July 9.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: A Grundy County pastor accused of attempted rape is now suspended.

Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum said that 48-year-old William E. “Tim” Smith, Jr. is in jail awaiting a bond hearing next week.

Neighbors and others in Palmer told Channel 3 they're disappointed and disturbed by the news. Some are defending the pastor calling him a good man.

On Friday, Smith was still listed as pastor on the sign in front of Palmer Church of God. Grundy County sheriff's deputies said he tried to rape a 12-year-old girl.

"I mean it's not right. It's never right to do anything like that," Joshua Johnson, a Grundy County resident said.

Johnson drives by the church every day. He's had friends attend Sunday school there.

It's hard for him to believe a pastor would be arrested on such a serious charge.

A report from the sheriff's office said deputies were on Ross Creek Road Thursday looking for a four wheeler that was possibly stolen. Instead, they said they found Smith and an underage girl in a truck.

Investigators also discovered several different pills in a pill bottle.

"A person like that should never be around children," Johnson said.

Smith identified himself as the pastor of a church in Palmer.

The Tennessee Church of God State Offices (TN COG) confirms Smith is the pastor of Palmer Church of God and says Smith has been suspended from all ministerial activities,

The TN COG issued the following statement:

On June 1, 2018, Tennessee Church of God State Office officials were informed that William E. “Tim” Smith, Jr., pastor of the Palmer Church of God in Palmer, Tennessee, has been charged with attempted rape of a child. 

In keeping with the ecclesiastical polity of Church of God, the Tennessee Church of God Administrative Bishop, Reverend Mitchell E. Corder, Jr., has placed Tim Smith, Jr., on administrative leave and suspended him from all ministerial activities on June 1, 2018, pending investigation and disposition of these charges.

Our concern and prayers go out to all involved in this matter.

The report also noted Smith took the girl and her cousin to Ramsey Lake for several hours.

After dropping off her cousin and picking up his other truck, Smith stopped on Ross Creek Road to use the restroom.

When he got back in the truck, that's when investigators said he started grabbing the 12 year old inappropriately. A deputy then knocked on the window and later arrested him.

"It definitely doesn't send a good message. It's not going to have a great reputation about it," Johnson said.

Smith's family members told Channel 3 they did not want to talk about the case.

He's expected to have a bond hearing on Tuesday. Another court date has been set for July 12th.

It's also unclear if church services will be held on Sunday.

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