Sex offender, an ex-teacher, admits breaking probation terms
Published 12:03 am Saturday, May 2, 2015
A former Carter County teacher convicted of statutory rape and soliciting a minor was arrested again, this time for violating terms of his probation as a registered sex offender.
Carter County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Amanda Little arrested Kelly Andrae Smith, 32, 3245 Gap Creek Road, Hampton, on Wednesday on a warrant charging him with violation of probation. Smith was booked into the Carter County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond. He was released after someone posed a property bond on his behalf, the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office said.
In 2014, Smith was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail and three years on probation after pleading guilty to aggravated statutory rape and two counts of solicitation of a minor. One of the victims was a 13-year-old girl; the second was a 16-year-old girl who had once been Smith’s student at Hampton Elementary School.
Officers with the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole searched Smith’s home, where they reported finding pornography and other items that violated the terms of Smith’s probation. The search was part of the Tennessee Department of Corrections’ Operation Clean Sweep in which officers searched the homes of all high-profile sex offenders to check for violations, BOPP Officer Michael Carver said.
Registered sex offenders serving time on state probation have a set of specialized conditions they must meet. Under the terms of Smith’s probation, he was not allowed to buy or possess any sexually explicit material and was barred from having Internet access on any computer or other electronic device.
When officers searched Smith’s home, they found a computer tablet lying in plain view in his bedroom, Carver said.
The device’s Internet search history revealed “immensely numerous pornographic websites being viewed and loaded to the device,” he said.
Officers also found an iPhone in Smith’s car, which contained three videos of Smith engaged in sexual activity, Carver said. Officers checked the search history of the phone, and it revealed Smith had used the phone to view pornographic websites and to search escort services on Craig’s List, Carver said.
On Tuesday, Carver asked the court to issue a warrant charging Smith with violation of probation. That same day, Smith’s attorney Don Spurrell filed a confession of violation with the court and asked that Smith be summonsed to court rather than arrested.
In his court filing, Spurrell noted that Smith “submits a confession to violating certain terms of his probation.”
Smith began serving probation in April 2014 and has not had any violations during that time, Spurrell said, adding that Smith had complied with his sexual offender treatment plan.
“He has surrendered both the phone and tablet to Mike Carver, his probation officer, and has obtained a phone that does not permit Internet access,” Spurrell said. “Some Internet sites with adult sexual content were discovered on the defendant’s tablet and telephone, and he readily admits that he is responsible for this infraction. He contends that none of the sites he visited contain child pornography, sado-masochistic or brutality imagery.”
Spurrell further petitioned the court that if an arrest warrant for Smith was issued, the bond be set as a recognizance bond, which would allow him to be booked in and immediately released pending a hearing.
“Although (Smith) has technically violated the terms of his probation, he has done a lot right,” Spurrell said. “He expects the court to impose upon him a penalty for his violation, but he would like an opportunity to present the entire picture of his individual case.”
“If he is jailed and held for any considerable period before a hearing, he will be fired from his very, very difficult-to-find job and face a huge hurdle against re-employment upon release.”
Judge Lisa Rice signed off on the warrant for Smith’s arrest and set the bond at $50,000 despite the request from Spurrell. No court date has been set at this time for Smith to appear in court on the violation of probation charge.