Teacher sentenced for improper relationship with girl

Cary Ashby • Oct 25, 2012 at 11:42 PM

A former South Central educator convicted of having an inappropriate relationship with a student is never allowed to teach again.

Bradley T. Smith, 32, of 3698 Ohio 547, Monroeville, was in Huron County Juvenile Court for his sentencing hearing Wednesday.

Judge Timothy Cardwell made it clear to Smith he isn't allowed to be employed as a teacher. Smith has been working at a golf course 40 hours a week -- a seasonal position that will end this month.

"I don't want you to be a teacher from this point forward," Cardwell told him.

Smith earlier voluntarily turned in his teacher's license.

"He has given up a career he went to college for," defense attorney Paul Dolce told the court.

On Sept. 19, Smith pleaded guilty to attempted contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor. The conviction was for a relationship from Nov. 1 through April 27. By the end of Smith's relationship with the girl, she had turned 16.

"You began your relationship with this victim (when she was) 15," Cardwell said. "You were the person she sought for help with a (school) project."

Smith was a substitute teacher when the relationship started. The Willard Police Department conducted the investigation.

Cardwell sternly told Smith he took advantage of his authority "when committing this crime." The judge also said he was concerned Smith said during his presentence investigation he didn't see any problem with having a relationship with the girl.

"That's what concerns me. ... Your lack of remorse concerns me," Cardwell said. "It's not just the victim (who) needs protection at this time."

As part of his two years of probation, Smith is prohibited from having any association with anyone under age 18 unless there is direct supervision by the child's parent or guardian. The defendant, who was fined $250, also isn't allowed to use any social media websites.

When police checked Smith's Facebook page, they found it "riddled" with high-school and college-age girls, Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Dina Shenker said.

"Those were the majority of his friends on there," said Shenker, who also said Smith used his power as a teacher to "perv" on females.

Smith was hired Aug. 20, 2010 as a language arts/Title I junior high teacher. On March 14, Smith was notified he would be the subject of a reduction in force (RIF) because of the lack of federal funding for his position.

Exactly two months later, a letter to Smith indicates Huron County Children Services notified South Central Elementary Principal Dennis Blanchard about an ongoing investigation involving Smith "for inappropriate contact and/or conduct with a minor female student of another school district."

The victim and her grandmother, who is her guardian, couldn't come to court Wednesday because of a medical emergency involving another family member.

"They are pleased Mr. Smith will no longer have a teacher's license. That was their main concern," Shenker said. "What he did in their eyes was sick."

Dolce, on behalf of Smith, had objected to the prohibition of being around anyone younger than 18 and not using social media websites. Dolce requested the judge consider a minimum fine and suspended jail term.

After the hearing, Shenker was asked if Smith had a sexual relationship with the victim.

"There were no allegations of any actual physical, sexual relationship -- that's not to say he didn't try," Shenker said.

The prosecutor had no information about any additional victims.

"I'm surprised no one else came forward," Shenker said.

If Smith violates the terms of his probation, he faces 90 days in jail.

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