UPDATE @ 11:07 a.m.:
Judge Erik Blaine sentenced Justin K. Smith to a total of 12 years in prison for three counts of sexual battery.
He was sentenced to four years for each count of sexual battery.
The sentences will be served consecutively.
Blaine said that Smith “eviscerated” the trust of his community with his actions.
UPDATE @ 10:52 a.m.:
Justin K. Smith read a statement during his sentencing for sexual battery, saying he has been wrongfully portrayed as a monster.
He also said that he regrets making the 14-year-old victim testify during the trial and called her “a wonderful young lady.”
Smith apologized for the trauma he caused her and admitted that only he is responsible for the situation.
He also apologized to the victim’s family and his own family, saying he doesn’t “have the words to express his sorrow.”
Smith called his actions deplorable and said he wishes he could take them back, but insisted he is not a monster.
He asked Judge Erik Blaine to “have mercy and look at my life as a whole.”
He closed his statement saying that he prays for the victim and her family every night.
Smith’s defense team said that he would not “even think” about re-offending and argued for the lightest possible sentence.
UPDATE @ 10:41 a.m.:The mother of the 14-year-old victim read a statement during Justin Smith’s sentencing, calling him a “predator.”
The mother also said that he deserves the maximum sentence and that Smith running away during the trial should be an admission of guilt.
She claimed that Smith continually pursued her daughter, who she said was manipulated by him.
She finished her statement saying that the incident haunts her daughter and family and that Smith has had too many chances.
UPDATE @ 10:34 a.m.:
Sentencing is under way for Justin K. Smith, a fugitive former soccer coach convicted of sexual battery and other crimes involving a 14-year-old girl.
The prosecution and defense agreed to merge Smith’s eight convictions into three counts of sexual battery for the sentencing.
UPDATE @ 9:55 a.m.:
Bond was set at $1 million for a fugitive former soccer coach facing news charges after fleeing in the middle of his trial for sex crimes with a minor.
Justin K. Smith’s defense team asked that bond be set at $100,000. The prosecution asked that he be held without bond.
Justin K. Smith, the fugitive soccer coach from Germantown who fled during his trial for several sex offenses he committed with an underage minor, is scheduled to be arraigned on new charges and will be sentenced in his original case in court today.
Smith, 42, was convicted of sexual battery and other crimes involving a 14-year-old girl he coached with the Southwest Soccer Club, also known as the Germantown Swarm.
The 14-year-old’s mother told the court she discovered a text message exchange allegedly between Smith and her daughter, that included the words “I love you” and more explicit messages. The mother said when she confronted her daughter about the messages, the girl broke down crying.
Smith fled in the middle of his trial after he took the stand on Halloween. He did not return after a lunch break, and his ankle monitor was later found in Franklin.
After a nationwide warrant was issued for Smith’s arrest, he was captured Dec. 14 in Florida after 45 days on the run when a woman he met through an online dating site learned he had been convicted of sex crimes with a minor.
The woman reported Smith’s whereabouts to deputies in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., who took him into custody with her cooperation, said Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck.
Smith, who is now back in Montgomery County Jail, was then indicted on 41 new counts related to his fleeing during his trial and for pornographic material allegedly in his possession, prosecutors said.
He will appear in front of a judge in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.
This story will be updated with any new information that emerges from today’s court appearance.
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