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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

Friday, June 28, 2013

Eight-year Sentence For Former Columbus Police Officer Guilty Of Sexual Coercion Of Minors

CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer

COLUMBUS –Todd L. Smith, 50, of Columbus was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to eight years of imprisonment, consisting of seven years in federal prison followed by one year on house arrest, for having illicit sexual relationships with students at the school where he was assigned as a resource officer for the Columbus Division of Police.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.

The FBI began investigating Smith in July 2012 and found that Smith had engaged in a “sexting” relationship with a 14-year old female student at the school. He told the student that he had a sex addiction and that she could help him by having sex with him. Between July 24, 2012 and the morning hours of July 25, 2012, Smith exchanged approximately 113 text messages with an undercover FBI agent posing as the victim.

“The juvenile told her parents about the relationship, and later, the juvenile expressed concerns to the FBI about what the police officer may do to her family as a result of the juvenile coming forward,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Doug Squires and Michael Hunter wrote in a document filed with the court prior to sentencing.

On July 27, 2012, the FBI became aware of another 15-year old victim who had been coerced through similar text messages into having a sexual relationship with Smith. The FBI found that this relationship began in early 2012 and that they exchanged more than 6,000 text messages during the course of the relationship. 

FBI agents arrested Smith on July 26, 2012 and he has been in custody since his arrest. Smith pleaded guilty on January 17, 2013 to one count of coercion and enticement of minors for sexual activity. 

Smith must serve five years on supervised release following his prison term. He was also ordered to register for life as a sex offender with law enforcement agencies wherever he lives, works or is a student.

Stewart commended the FBI agents conducting the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Doug Squires and Michael Hunter, who represented the United States in the case.

Updated July 23, 2015