Friday, March 28, 2014

TN - Former alderman (Richard L. Smith) on probation for solicitation charges against a minor

Richard L. Smith
Richard L. Smith
Original Article

This just goes to show you that the laws are only for specific people. If you are a politician, well known, or rich, then the laws don't apply to you!

03/28/2014

By Bailey Darrow

PUTNAM COUNTY - Former Monterey alderman Richard L. Smith appeared in criminal court Thursday, entering a plea of guilty to one count of solicitation of a minor and must now serve two years on the sex offender registry.

In October, Smith was arrested on a three-count grand jury indictment charging him with one count of solicitation of a minor and two counts of extortion after he reportedly made contact with a young girl on social media and by sending text messages to a cell phone he purchased for her.

By entering a best interest plea of guilty to only the one count of solicitation, a Class E felony, Smith will have to serve two years on probation and must register on the sex offender registry.

He will be allowed to continue living at his home on Volunteer Way in Monterey, even though it is less than 1,000 feet from a school or park, despite that registration status. He will also be allowed to continue living with his girlfriend and her minor child, court documents state.

Upon successful completion of the sentence, Smith will be removed from the sex offender registry and the offense will be fully expunged, according to court documents.

The indictments issued against Smith alleged that between Dec. 1, 2012, and Jan. 9, 2013, Smith “did unlawfully by means of electronic communication intentionally request, persuade, invite or attempt to induce a person who (he) knows or should know is less than 18 years of age” to engage in conduct that, if completed, would constitute a violation of the state’s statutory rape law.

The extortion indictments alleged that Smith told the girl that “he would expose information concerning their personal relationship to various parties to embarrass her unless she fulfilled promises that he said she made concerning their romantic, sexual, and personal relationship.”

According to the indictments, he also told the girl “that he would expose information concerning their personal relationship to various parties to embarrass her unless she returned certain personal property,” to him.

The items Smith insisted the girl return include a ring, a necklace and a phone, according to the indictment.

Smith served on the Monterey board of mayor and aldermen for eight years. In 2010, he ran for mayor of Monterey, losing to then vice-mayor Jeff Hicks by only two votes. He also qualified in the race for mayor of the city in 2008, but ultimately withdrew his name from the ballot. In January 2012, he resigned from the city’s Planning Commission.

Most recently, Smith gained media attention as he campaigned for what he calls “Boomer’s Law” that would increase the possible punishment for aggravated assault in the state, following the death of his son in 2012.


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