Idaho teacher and ex-cop sexually abused minor student, told her it 'wasn't fair' she aroused him: Police
Describing the pattern of the alleged sexual abuse, the victim claimed that Patrick Todd Smith, an auto shop teacher, was overly comfortable and flirty with his students
IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO: A high school teacher was arrested on Tuesday, May 19, after his student alleged that she had been sexually abused and harassed by him. Patrick Todd Smith has been charged with felony sexual battery on a minor. Smith is a teacher at the Technical Careers High School in Bonneville Joint School District 93. He was also a Bonneville County Sheriff’s deputy from 2007 to 2011. His arrest came after the 17-year-old student alleged how the 51-year-old’s inappropriate behavior began with flirty and sexual comments and escalated to unwanted kissing and groping in spring 2019, reports East Idaho News.
Describing the pattern of the alleged sexual abuse, the victim claimed that Smith, an auto shop teacher, was overly comfortable and flirty with his students. The girl alleged that he would take whatever the students said in a sexual way. She also said during a forensic interview at the Upper Valley Child Advocacy Center that Smith’s behavior was initially ignored since it was “normal” for him. However, soon his actions moved beyond sexual comments. The teen alleged that Smith started with innocent hugging, but one day he grabbed her and pulled her into his lap and said it was not fair she aroused him, and “he had to deal with it all day.” The probable cause reads, “Each time Smith came back into the shop, he would take it a step further. … Smith kept saying that his life would be easier if she wasn’t so attractive or if she was 18."
Smith’s harassment allegedly escalated to the point where he kissed her neck and touched her breasts her underneath her clothes. The incident left the girl shocked and she reportedly left school for the rest of the day. But that did not deter Smith from following up on her as he allegedly texted her to ask if she was OK. The text was reportedly seen by police also in which the girl replied to the accused that she was not OK with the touching and that it needed to stop. To which Smith replied, it was fine, and he would stop. According to the court documents filed on behalf of the complainant, the next day at school, Smith allegedly hugged the victim and apologized to her, but his flirty behavior did not stop as he would hug the victim even more after she turned 18.
As the alleged incident came to light, Smith was soon put on paid administrative leave. The school board has also opened its own investigation into him. “We are deeply concerned and saddened to learn that a Bonneville School District teacher has been arrested and charged with a crime alleging sexual abuse of a minor. A fundamental goal of the district is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of every student entrusted to our care,” Bonneville Joint School District 93 spokesman Phil Campbell said in a statement. Smith could reportedly face life imprisonment if convicted of felony sexual battery of a minor. He has, however, been released from jail on Wednesday, May 20, on a $10,000 bond and a no-contact order has been issued between Smith and the victim. A preliminary hearing into the case has been scheduled for June 2 at the Bonneville County Courthouse.