A former Columbus police officer charged with sex crimes against with two teenage girls was denied release from jail on Thursday.
A judge said that Todd L. Smith was a risk to his alleged victims and his community.
Smith, who served as a school resource officer at Columbus' Centennial High School during the 2011-12 school year is accused of sexting with two students and having a sexual relationship with one of them. Thursday, in a federal courtroom in downtown Columbus, Smith's attorney argued that he should be released from jail and placed on house arrest. Prosecutors argued he was a flight risk and should remain behind bars until his trial.
Smith, 49, faces two counts of attempted production of sexually explicit conduct of a minor and one count of coercion and enticement of a minor for sexual activity. Smith pleaded not guilty to the charges.
An FBI agent testified at the hearing Thursday about Smith's arrest. Smith was arrested in July when he allegedly attempted to meet one of the teens near her home at 2 a.m. Smith was under surveillance at the time, according to the agent. The agent testified Smith showed up, unaware that he was conversing with FBI agents who had intercepted the teen's phone. When he arrived, he was met by agents and arrested.
Agents also said that Smith and one of the alleged teen victims exchanged more than 6,000 text messages, some of which were described to be graphic and sexually explicit texts.
According to agents, one of the girls sent a text message to Smith and joked about having sex with another person. Agents said that Smith replied with a text that read, "Tape it. I want to see you in action."
The judge said on Thursday that some of the text messages were of a threatening nature.
The agent testified that Smith allegedly had sexual contact with a student on the night of a school play. The agent said that Smith was wearing his uniform and had his gun belt on at the time of the incident.
Doug Squires, Assistant U.S. Attorney, said that Smith did the opposite of his job.
"This case involves Todd Smith, who was that Columbus Police officer charged with the safety of children, and instead, he exploited it," Squires said.
According to agents, both the 15-year-old girls believed that they were in love with Smith and felt bad that they were getting their "boyfriend" in trouble. Agents said that the girls did not know about each other.
Smith's attorney, Sam Shamansky, argued that the girls were not afraid of Smith and that none of the text messages indicated that Smith would inflict harm on the girls.
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Smith's attorney, Sam Shamansky, argued that the girls were not afraid of Smith and that none of the text messages indicated that Smith would inflict harm on the girls. Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing coverage.
August 21, 2012: Investigators: Former School Resource Officer May Have More Victims
August 20, 2012: Former School Resource Officer Accused Of Sexting Teens Pleads Not Guilty
August 16, 2012: Former School Resource Officer Accused Of Having Sexual Conduct With Teens Indicted On Federal Charges
August 14, 2012: Civil Lawsuit Filed Against Former School Resource Officer Accused Of Sexting Girl
July 31, 2012: Other Resource Officers Fear Fallout Over Officer Accused Of “Sexting” Teens
July 30, 2012: Former High School Resource Officer Accused Of Having Sexual Contact With Teenager
July 27, 2012: School Resource Officer Federally Charged In Connection With Allegedly ‘Sexting’ Teen
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