COLUMBUS, Ohio – A former Columbus police officer is awaiting sentencing for drawing high school students into sexual relationships.
Todd Smith, 50, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to one count of coercion and enticement of minors for sexual activity, Carter Stewart, US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, announced.
Smith admitted to sexting with two Centennial High School students and having sex with them while he worked as a school resource officer.
The FBI began investigating Smith on July 2, 2012 and found that he was having “an illicit relationship with a 15-year old female,” according to a statement produced in court.
Authorities said Smith told the student that he had a sex addiction and that she could help him by having sex with him.
Smith exchanged approximately 113 text messages with an undercover FBI agent posing as the victim on July 24-25..
On July 27, the FBI became aware of another 15-year old victim who had been coerced through similar text messages into having a sexual relationship with Smith.
Agents found that relationship had begun in early 2012 and that Smith and the girl exchanged more than 6,000 text messages.
FBI agents arrested Smith on July 26.
Coercion and enticement of minors is punishable by at least ten years and up to life in prison.