Bootheel teacher's aide sentenced to prison on child porn conviction

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A former teacher's aide was sentenced to prison for 24 years on a felony child pornography charge in federal court in Cape Girardeau.

Michael W. Smith, 52, of Steele, Mo., was sentenced to 293 months imprisonment on one felony count of production of child pornography. Upon release from prison, Smith will be placed on supervised release for the remainder of his life.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood.

As a part of his earlier guilty plea, Smith admitted that between June 1 and Aug. 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.

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 pictures were located. 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.

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