NEW LEXINGTON — New Lexington Police Chief Jim Ervin updated locals on a previous investigation from Dec. 18, 2019. The case involved Marcus Anthony Smith who was recently sentenced after being charged with importuning a minor.
According to the Village Police Chief, Smith was found guilty of importuning, a felony in the fifth degree. Smith, a male from the State of Minnesota, was inappropriately communicating with a 14-year-old female by using a telecommunication device. The minor involved was from New Lexington.
The Chief added that Smith was sentenced to a definite term of nine months in a state penal institution. He was further classified as a tier one sex offender. Upon his release from prison, Smith will undergo post-release control (PRC) which is a period of supervision by the Adult Parole Authority.
In mid-January, The Perry County Tribune reported that Smith had been arrested in the 300 block of West Broadway Street in the Village of New Lexington in December for importuning.
In the State of Ohio, importuning is classified as a criminal offense which involves a person trying to engage a minor in sexual activity. The term comprises multiple soliciting acts along with conduct.
On Dec. 19, two New Lexington Police officers were dispatched to an address in the Village involving a verbal altercation. The one who made the call to dispatchers was Smith who met officers at the residence. In one of the officers report, Smith had advised the two officers that he was 17 years old and from out of state.
Prior to the officers arriving on scene, the father of the minor allegedly told Smith to leave the residence which then led to an argument between the minor and father. Both officers were able to quell the situation.
The father told officers that he was unfamiliar with Smith and why he drove to the New Lexington home.
Smith was visibly nervous according to police reports, and was unable to provide any identification.
After a series of questions, officers were able to discover that Smith had been communicating with the minor through Facebook messaging. When asked what the nature of their acquaintance was, Smith stated they were in a relationship. He added that he was aware that the minor was 16, not 14 years old.
Smith later admitted to officers that his real age was 18 and he was nervous causing him to lie to law enforcement. He also admitted to know the real age of the minor.
After reading Smith his Miranda Rights, he agreed to speak with officers. Law enforcement interviewing Smith asked if he had explicit photos of the minor on his cell phone of which Smith did not give a straight answer. Smith also avoided questions pertaining to if he had sent the minor explicit photos.
The minor involved in the incident told officers that they had been sending messages for a year also sending explicit visuals. Smith would later admit to officers that there were photos and that he no longer had them.
Smith admitted to officers his intentions and would later be arrested.