A man who works in the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office was charged this month with soliciting sex from a teenage girl.

Clayton James Smeby, a criminal investigator with the office, is in custody after he allegedly offered money and other services to a 15-year-old girl in exchange for sex.

Smeby, 46, of Brooklyn Park, was arrested on Sept. 9. He said that he did message the alleged victim, but that the sexual messages were intended for an older friend. He also denied knowing that the girl was 15.

According to the criminal complaint filed on Sept. 12, Brooklyn Park police obtained a search warrant for the girl’s phone as part of an unrelated investigation. The search revealed text messages between the girl and Smeby, the father of a friend, dated between June 22 and Aug. 10.

Many of the messages were sexual in nature. Smeby had asked the girl to delete them from her phone and to change his name from her phone, according to the criminal complaint.

The texts between the two stopped after the girl was arrested on another matter, according to the criminal complaint.

During a police interview on Aug. 25, the girl denied the sexual texts. She said another, older girl had access to her phone and was sending those messages to Smeby.

Smeby later denied that the messages were for the girl, saying they were for the older girl.

His bond was set at $30,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 24.