Cedric Smith, a former Poplarville
teacher and coach, has pleaded guilty to charges that he had sex
with a 14-year-old student last year.
Smith, who was 35 when he was arrested on a statutory rape
charge in December, was a teacher and baseball coach at Poplarville
Junior/Senior High School. He entered the guilty plea Friday.
Smith could receive a maximum of 30 years in prison, said Pearl
River County District Attorney Hal Kittrell.
No date for sentencing has been set. Kittrell said Smith will be
sentenced by Judge Prentiss Harrell when the November term begins
in Fifth Judicial District Circuit Court.
"This case was very sensitive to everybody on both sides,"
Kittrell said in a www.sunherald.com article. "It was tragic for
everybody. We just went with our case and did what we had to do."
A member of the girl's family said Smith had sex with the
student in his truck on the school campus. The Associated Press
does not identify the victims of sexual assaults.