Crime And Law

Soccer coach accused of inappropriate relationship with girl, 14, goes on trial

GERMANTOWN — The trial for a former youth soccer coach and league president accused of an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl began Monday with the victim’s mother testifying.

Justin K. Smith, 41, is charged with three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, three counts of sexual battery and two counts of sexual imposition, according to Montgomery County records.

Smith was a soccer coach for the Southwest Soccer Club, which is also known as the Germantown Swarm.

The 14-year-old’s mother told the court she discovered a text message exchange allegedly between Smith and her daughter, which included the words “I love you” and more explicit messages. The mother said when she confronted her daughter about the messages, the girl broke down crying.

Smith also allegedly sent a text message telling the 14-year-old he planned to build a new house for the two of them once he had finalized a divorce with his wife, the mother testified.

Smith’s attorney acknowledged an “inappropriate relationship” between the teen and Smith, however argued that there was no sexual conduct, only some sexual contact and that the 41-year-old is guilty only of the misdemeanor sexual imposition charges filed against him.

The teens mother said after she confiscated her daughter’s cell phone, Smith allegedly sent her daughter another phone in a Manila envelope.

The mother said after looking at that phone, she allegedly spotted 327 messages exchanged between her daughter and Smith in less than 24 hours.

Monday’s trial is a bench trial with Judge Erik Blaine hearing the case, after Smith waived his right to a jury trial.

Comments on this article