Former FCAHS teacher indicted for child sex crimes - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

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Former FCAHS teacher indicted for child sex crimes

Joshua Smith/Photo credit: Forrest County Jail Joshua Smith/Photo credit: Forrest County Jail
FORREST COUNTY (WDAM) -

A former Forrest County Agricultural High School teacher arrested in 2014 for sex crimes against a minor has been indicted by a Forrest County grand jury.

Joshua Smith, 34, of Poplarville, was arrested in May 2014 and charged with one count of sexual battery and three counts of exploitation of a minor.  His bond was set at $100,000 during his initial appearance before Judge Jerry Evans.

Forrest County Agricultural High School Superintendent Jerry Jefferson, “J.J.” Morgan issued a statement on May 22, 2014, saying Smith had been terminated from the district.

Smith, who was a special education teacher and coached multiple boys and girls sports, was served a two count indictment for touching of a child for lustful purposes and sexual battery.

According to Count 1 of the indictment:

“Joshua Smith, in Forrest County, on or between the dates of Feb. 1, 2013 and April 24, 2013, Joshua Smith, being at the time in question over the age of 18 years, for the purpose of gratifying his lust or indulging his depraved licentious sexual desires, did unlawfully, willfully and feloniously handle, touch or rub with his body part, or any part of his body, or any member thereof, the body of (victim), a child who was at the time in question under the age of 18, and while Smith was in a position of trust or authority over the child, to-wit: a teacher and/pr coach at Forrest County Agricultural High School, contrary to the form of the statute in such cases made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the State of Mississippi.”

According to Count 2 of the indictment:

“Joshua Smith, in Forrest County, on or between the dates of Feb. 1, 2013 and April 24, 2013, did willfully, purposely, unlawfully and feloniously commit sexual battery upon (victim), a child who was at the time in question 14 years of age or more, but less than 18 years of age, by engaging in the act of…(a form of)… sexual penetration, while Smith  was in a position of trust or authority over the child, to-wit: a teacher and/pr coach at Forrest County Agricultural High School, contrary to the form of the statute in such cases made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the State of Mississippi.”

In May 2014, Forrest County Sheriff’s Department investigators said the charges stemmed from three separate victims and were linked to inappropriate text messages.

A trial date will be set before Judge Jon Mark Weathers, according to investigators.

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