Zach Smith pleads guilty to reduced charge of disorderly conduct

n this Sept. 16, 2017 photo, Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith watches before the start of an NCAA college football game against Army in Columbus, Ohio. (Marvin Fong//The Plain Dealer via AP)

DELAWARE COUNTY -- Zach Smith, a former Ohio State University wide receivers coach who was dismissed from the team before the season began, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Tuesday in Delaware County Municipal Court.

According to court records, Zach Smith was charged with criminal trespassing in May following an incident with his ex-wife Courtney Smith. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct.

Brad Koffel, Zach Smith's attorney, said both Zach and Courtney came to a mutual agreement Tuesday to stay away from each other for three years. Koffel said the agreement was not an order or finding by a judge but it did need to be filed in court.

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Zach and Courtney's domestic incident played out on a national stage beginning in July and resulted in OSU head coach Urban Meyer's three-game suspension, as well as Athletic Director Gene Smith's suspension for their handling of the situation.

According to the summary of the investigation released by the university: “Although neither Urban Meyer nor Gene Smith condoned or covered up the alleged domestic abuse by Zach Smith, they failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith’s misconduct and retained an Assistant Coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes.”

Smith tweeted his response:

"I would like to take this opportunity today to thank my family, friends, supporters and attorneys Brad Koffel and Dennis Horvath.

As I have stated from day one, I was falsely accused of very serious allegations that should not be taken lightly. As well as charged with breaking a law that I did not break. The media circus that ensued caused a great deal of harm to my family, my grandfathers legacy and ruined my professional career I worked extremely hard for since 2005.

Domestic Violence is a horrific crime and as a father to two beautiful daughters of whom I adore, I have been destroyed over the public perception and media's spin on things that came out. Mostly severely inaccurate and damaging.

I have made sure that we agreed to a Mutual Protection Order so that I am never in a situation to get falsely or wrongfully accused of anything ever again.

I would also hope that, in the future, in situations that involve domestic situations, people withhold judgment until the truth can come out. Finding someone guilty without the entire picture and facts is a horrific and dangerous practice that is far too common today. Everyone has rights, male or female, and false or premature judgments harm innocent people.

This practice of ruining a human being and their family before truths can come out is archaic and directly opposed to how the judicial process is designed to work.

To family, friends and fans that reached out offering their support and stories: you helped me get through this more than you ever could know.

To those people who sent hateful and horrible messages: I am praying for you.

I miss my players terribly and that has been the hardest aspect to deal with. Watching them thrive and grow from afar has been rewarding to see but heartbreaking to not be a part of.

I look forward to moving on and helping my kids move forward into the next chapter of our lives."

Julia Leveridge, counsel for Courtney Smith released the following statement on Wednesday.

"Yesterday, Zach Smith, Courtney Smith’s ex-husband, pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct in Delaware County Municipal Court. In addition, Mr. Smith signed a Consent Agreement and Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order, intended to protect the petitioner, Courtney Smith, for three years. Contrary to some media reports, this Order of Protection is not “mutual.”

Ms. Smith reached this agreement as it provides her with the protection she is seeking and is in the best interest of the couple’s two young children. Ms. Smith firmly believes that a public trial would have had a negative impact on the children, and their safety and well-being has always been her priority."

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