MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee denied former educator and Milton-Union High School principal Allen Smith’s request for early release after serving 10 months of a two-year sentence on Sept. 28.
Attorney Jose Lopez filed the judicial release citing Smith had participated in several programs since he has been incarcerated. Lopez also said Smith, 68, of West Milton, completed tutor training to assist other inmates to get their GEDs and other programs.
“Defendant is very remorseful and has accepted full responsibility for his actions and is looking forward to participating in counseling with Dr. Gordon Harris and becoming a productive member of society once again,” Lopez stated.
According to the decision entry denying the motion for early release, Judge Gee stated, “The court is charged with the responsibility to protect the public from future harm by the defendant. Nothing in the judicial release motion assuages the concern expressed by the court at sentencing that Smith had escalated from watching videos of young children being sexually exploited to engaging in grooming behavior and attempting to meet an underage victim. The defendant’s motion makes a reference to his addiction to pornography, but there is no attempt to address the predatory conduct that resulted in his arrest. The defendant was not charged criminally for attempting to meet a young girl, but that was only due to the intervention of law enforcement.”
Judge Gee also noted, “The court has no reason to doubt the defendant’s sincerity or commitment to change his life for the better,” prior to denying the motion.
Last January, Smith was sentenced to serve up to two years in prison on seven felony counts, including two counts of second- and fifth-degree felony illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. He entered a plea of no contest and the court found him guilty. Troy Police began investigating Smith’s actions after the mother of a 14-year-old girl reportedly found messages on a cell phone between Smith and the minor. He was indicted by a grand jury on the charges in September 2015.
Several family members, friends and clergy wrote letters on Smith’s behalf. Miami County Assistant Prosecutor Janna Parker filed a memorandum to oppose the judicial release, stating Smith set up the meeting with the 14-year-old female at a local Troy park with “condoms, lubricant, a sex toy, and magazines depicting nudity.”
Parker also stated Smith had several ongoing communications “of a flirtatious or sexual nature with several little girls.”
“Finally, the fact that he devoted his career to educating children, while harboring these sexually devious desires for children, is beyond the pale, and he needs to remain in prison,” Parker said.
At his sentencing hearing on Jan. 26, Smith was ordered to complete five years of mandatory post-release control following his release from prison.
He was also classified as a Tier 2 sex offender and must register his address every 180 days for the next 25 years. He was ordered to not reside within 1,000 feet of a school or preschool building.
Smith most recently was a curriculum supervisor with the Miami County Education Service Center, where he worked with county administrators. Smith served as principal of Milton-Union High School from 1992-2001. He also was employed by the Covington Exempted Village District in the 1980s.
Daycare civil suit dropped
A 2014 civil suit against two former daycare workers from their previous employer was voluntarily dismissed, according to court records filed on Sept. 26.
Karen Leffel and Amy Hawkins, owners of Walnut Grove Learning Center Ltd., 5760 Walnut Grove Road, Troy, filed the lawsuit against former childcare workers Rose Anne Zulauf of Sidney and Cynthia Dickey of Tipp City.
The dismissal states, “The parties through their/its undersigned legal counsel, hereto consent and stipulate to the mutual dismissal of this lawsuit and all pending claims and counterclaims, with prejudice.”
The owners were indicted on the misdemeanor charges, which were later dismissed. The incidents alleged misconduct between two young male preschoolers at the daycare center, which Dickey and Zulauf claimed was sexual in nature and was not reported to the parents of the children. The owners denied it was sexual in nature, therefore not required to be reported under law.
Dickey and Zulauf were fired from the center shortly following the alleged incidents, according to reports.
Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her @Troydailynews