HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced charges against Edward Smith, deputy coroner of Carbon and Schuylkill Counties, for unlawful contact with a minor after Smith solicited sex online from an undercover agent who was posing as a 14-year-old boy.
Smith, 60, of Willing Street, Tamaqua, was arrested yesterday for soliciting sex from the agent posing as the 14-year-old on a social networking site. The agent told Smith multiple times during their online conversation that he was 14. Smith solicited the agent for unlawful sexual contact, then made plans to meet up and instructed the agent to erase all of their chats.
Upon arriving at the designated meeting location, Smith was taken into custody by agents with the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section. A criminal complaint was filed in Luzerne County, charging Smith with unlawful contact with a minor and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse – both felonies.
“Thanks to the hard work of the agents and prosecutors in our Child Predator Section, another predator is off our streets,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “We have zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of children in Pennsylvania. Whoever the perpetrator may be – including a public official – we will investigate and charge these predators wherever we find them.”
Bail was set at $250,000 cash and Smith is currently incarcerated in Luzerne County Prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 27 at 1:00 p.m. This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Angela Raver.
Suspected child predators can be reported by calling the Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044. Individuals who suspect an online predator or abuse can also send anonymous tips by texting PAKIDS + (your tip) to 847411.
# # #
Click a photo to enlarge
Contact the Press Office
PA Office of Attorney General / Press Office
16th Floor, Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120