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HomeNewsLocal newsPlea Negotiations Underway for CAHS Coach in Child Porn Case

Plea Negotiations Underway for CAHS Coach in Child Porn Case

Plea negotiations are underway in the case of Alfredo Bruce Smith, the Charlotte Amalie High School track coach charged with sexually abusing student-athletes over a span of at least six years, according to a motion filed Wednesday in V.I. District Court.

Smith’s attorney, seeking an extension of the deadline to file motions in the case, and to continue the trial date, said in the motion that “the parties are presently engaged in plea negotiations which could obviate both further motions practice and a trial.”

Smith, 51, was arrested on Sept. 1 following an investigation by Department of Homeland Security agents after they were contacted by a witness who said they had alerted a CAHS official to the coach’s alleged crimes but were not satisfied with how the matter was handled, according to court documents.

Smith, who was also a hall monitor at the school, was subsequently charged with 13 criminal counts, including production of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child. He has pleaded not guilty and is currently being held at the federal detention center in Puerto Rico, pending the outcome of his case.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in a motion for detention filed after Smith’s arrest, said evidence obtained from the investigation shows that for at least six years, he routinely raped and solicited child pornography from minor male students, some as young as 13 and as early as in the ninth grade. He engaged students in acts of sexual intercourse on-campus, off-campus, and on school-sponsored trips off-island, it said. He also video-recorded some of the acts at CAHS with both his personal device and a recording device owned by the school, it said.

Smith continued to solicit boys for meetings, photos, and videos even after a witness contacted him on social media in January and told him to stop, and even after one of his alleged victims told Smith that he had been contacted by Homeland Security Investigations, the motion for detention stated.

Besides interviewing witnesses and alleged victims, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office has said number more than 10, the agents also obtained a search and seizure warrant for Smith’s Facebook account.

The volume of data involved — over 70,000 files comprising 53 gigabytes of information — has prompted Smith’s request for deadline extensions, according to the motion filed Wednesday by his attorney, federal Public Defender Matthew Campbell.

“Review of that discovery is time-consuming since a single gigabyte of data equates to an average of 600 web pages, or 350,000 email messages, or 30 minutes of high-definition video, or two hours of standard-definition video, or 200 songs, and there are 53 gigabytes of discovery in those 70,000+ files,” the motion states.

Campbell is in ongoing consultation with a digital forensics expert regarding the copied discovery and given the volume, and the fact that Smith is detained off-island in Puerto Rico, is asking for an extension of the motions deadline by 45 days to Aug. 4 or later, and that a new trial date be set accordingly, according to Wednesday’s filing. Smith currently is scheduled to stand trial on Sept. 6, with a motions deadline of June 16.

The motion has been referred to Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller.

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Plea negotiations are underway in the case of Alfredo Bruce Smith, the Charlotte Amalie High School track coach charged with sexually abusing student-athletes over a span of at least six years, according to a motion filed Wednesday in V.I. District Court. Smith's attorney, seeking an extension of the deadline to file motions in the case, and to continue the trial date, said in the motion that "the parties are presently engaged in plea negotiations which could obviate both further motions practice and a trial." Smith, 51, was arrested on Sept. 1 following an investigation by Department of Homeland Security agents after they were contacted by a witness who said they had alerted a CAHS official to the coach's alleged crimes but were not satisfied with how the matter was handled, according to court documents. Smith, who was also a hall monitor at the school, was subsequently charged with 13 criminal counts, including production of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child. He has pleaded not guilty and is currently being held at the federal detention center in Puerto Rico, pending the outcome of his case. The U.S. Attorney's Office, in a motion for detention filed after Smith's arrest, said evidence obtained from the investigation shows that for at least six years, he routinely raped and solicited child pornography from minor male students, some as young as 13 and as early as in the ninth grade. He engaged students in acts of sexual intercourse on-campus, off-campus, and on school-sponsored trips off-island, it said. He also video-recorded some of the acts at CAHS with both his personal device and a recording device owned by the school, it said. Smith continued to solicit boys for meetings, photos, and videos even after a witness contacted him on social media in January and told him to stop, and even after one of his alleged victims told Smith that he had been contacted by Homeland Security Investigations, the motion for detention stated. Besides interviewing witnesses and alleged victims, which the U.S. Attorney's Office has said number more than 10, the agents also obtained a search and seizure warrant for Smith's Facebook account. The volume of data involved — over 70,000 files comprising 53 gigabytes of information — has prompted Smith's request for deadline extensions, according to the motion filed Wednesday by his attorney, federal Public Defender Matthew Campbell. "Review of that discovery is time-consuming since a single gigabyte of data equates to an average of 600 web pages, or 350,000 email messages, or 30 minutes of high-definition video, or two hours of standard-definition video, or 200 songs, and there are 53 gigabytes of discovery in those 70,000+ files," the motion states. Campbell is in ongoing consultation with a digital forensics expert regarding the copied discovery and given the volume, and the fact that Smith is detained off-island in Puerto Rico, is asking for an extension of the motions deadline by 45 days to Aug. 4 or later, and that a new trial date be set accordingly, according to Wednesday's filing. Smith currently is scheduled to stand trial on Sept. 6, with a motions deadline of June 16. The motion has been referred to Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller.