Michael W. Smith – Child Porn Production by Teacher


A Pemiscot County man has been sentenced to federal prison for 24 years on a felony child pornography charge.

Michael W. Smith, 52, of Steele, Missouri, was sentenced to 293 months imprisonment on one felony count of Production of Child Pornography, according to U.S. Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway.

Upon release from prison, Smith will be placed on supervised release for the remainder of his life.

Smith appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Rodney W. Sippel December 16 in Cape Girardeau.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. Hanaway said, “Protecting children from sexual exploitation is the central goal of Project Safe Childhood. Sadly, this case demonstrates that child predators can be people in positions of authority. Smith was a teacher’s aide at the victim’s school. This 24 year sentence supports that abuse of the trust innocent children afford to their teachers and production of child pornography will simply not be tolerated.”

In February 2006, the Department of Justice launched Project Safe Childhood. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), the program marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, with an emphasis on exploitation via the internet.

As a part of his earlier guilty plea, Smith admitted that between June 1 and August 30, 2007, he used a Polaroid camera and film to take sexually explicit photographs of a minor male who was less than 12-years-old.

At the time of the offense, Smith was a teacher’s aide at the child’s school.

The photographs were taken at Smith’s residence in Steele, Missouri.

After Smith was arrested for charges involving statutory sodomy of another minor, Smith contacted a family member via telephone and directed the person to the location where the aforementioned Polaroid pictures were located. The pictures were contained in a paper bag. Smith instructed the family member to not look in the bag and to destroy the contents.

Earlier this year, Smith was convicted in Pemiscot County Circuit Court of charges related to statutory sodomy of another minor male.

Hanaway commended the Pemiscot County Sheriff’s Department and Prosecutor’s Office, the Missouri Department of Social Services State Technical Assistance Team, the Network Against Sexual Violence, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their combined efforts to prosecute this case. Assistant United States Attorney Abbie Crites-Leoni handled the prosecution for the government.

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