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Published: Tuesday, November 06, 2018 @ 5:12 PM
Updated: Tuesday, November 06, 2018 @ 11:49 PM
GERMANTOWN — Photos of a former Germantown soccer coach, who fled the area while on trial for sexual conduct with a 14-year-old girl, are providing clues as to his possible whereabouts.
News Center 7 exclusively obtained pictures of 41-year-old Justin K. Smith checking into a hotel in the Lexington, Kentucky, area.
Smith sat in the witness box in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court six days ago, on Halloween, testifying.
The trial took a break after he completed his testimony, and he walked out of the courtroom, drove away and didn’t come back.
Smith defended himself on the stand, claiming he did not engage in sexual acts with the teen though he admitted the two did have sexual contact.
Investigators said Smith cut his court-ordered GPS ankle bracelet, which stopped working in the Franklin area.
Information provided by anonymous sources close to the investigation have revealed that Smith left behind a pickup truck he was driving in a Meijer parking lot in Lexington, Ky.
In pictures we’ve obtained, Smith is seen checking into a Marriott hotel near the store on Oct. 31, the same day he left Dayton.
The pictures appear to show him wearing the same shirt and tie he wore in the courtroom. We’ve reached out to that Marriott for comment on those pictures, but have not heard back.
Investigators said they cannot comment on what we have learned.
They did say they now believe Smith is farther south, possibly in Florida, and that someone is giving him cash.
They also said Smith’s 14-year-old accuser is being protected while the search for Smith continues.
Two days after Smith took off, the trial judge found Smith guilty on all the charges filed in the case. Smith had waived his right to have the case tried before a jury.
“Not a tough case,” said Dylan Smearcheck, assistant prosecuting attorney. “All the facts were there, open and shut from the beginning.”
“We just hope he’s safe and hope we can finish what we started here,” said Smith’s defense lawyer, Michael Booher.
Smith cannot be sentenced on his sexual assault convictions unless he is present.
We’ll let you know if he’s taken into custody.