U.S. Attorney Charges Bedford Hills Man With Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor And Attempted Enticement
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the unsealing of a Complaint charging CHARUDET SMITH, a/k/a “Charles Smith,” with sexual exploitation of a minor. SMITH was arrested yesterday and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Victoria Resnik this afternoon in White Plains federal court.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Charudet Smith allegedly constructed an elaborate web of lies and fabricated multiple identities in order to gain the trust of an unsuspecting minor. Today’s arrest underscores the urgent need to protect children from the dangers posed by predators who use social media to prey on children both online and in person.”
As alleged in the Complaint:
From at least on or about December 21, 2019, up to and including at least on or about February 13, 2020, SMITH impersonated various individuals and created and used a series of Instagram accounts, emails, and phone numbers in order to deceive a 17-year-old minor (“Victim-1”) into creating and sending sexually explicit videos and images to SMITH and agreeing to meet SMITH to engage in sexual activity in Seattle, Washington.
SMITH posed as an established freelance photographer for a well-known international camera company (“Company-1”) and told Victim-1, an aspiring teenage photographer, that he had numerous contacts within the media industry and could act as Victim-1’s mentor. SMITH then posed as multiple employees of Company-1 who purported to offer Victim-1 a position in a sought-after youth professional development program. In fact, SMITH was never an employee of Company-1 and had never been paid by Company-1 for any services or any employment.
Anyone who may have encountered CHARUDET SMITH, a/k/a “Charles Smith,” or whose child may have had any communications with SMITH is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).
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SMITH, 31, of New Rochelle, New York, is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
The minimum and maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.
Mr. Williams praised the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont, the Sherriff’s Office in Washington, Vermont, the Massachusetts State Police, the New Rochelle Police Department, and the Westchester County Police Department in connection with this investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia S. Cohen is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.
Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff