Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg officer resigns over sexual allegations involving teenager

ST. PETERSBURG — A police officer resigned from the force this summer before he could be fired over allegations that he had sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl.

Officer Edward Smith was 26 when he and the girl started having sex in December 2009, according to an internal affairs investigation.

The victim, now 16, reported the allegations to the Bradenton Police Department on June 20.

Smith denied the accusations, the report said, but resigned from the St. Petersburg Police Department the next day.

The department continued its investigation. In a report released Thursday, St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon said that he would have fired Smith had he not already quit.

The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office also investigated the case but declined to prosecute Smith. The office could not say why it reached that conclusion.

St. Petersburg police will forward their findings to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and ask the state to pull Smith's law enforcement certification. The FDLE would have to hold a hearing first.

"If they decide to revoke his certification, he will not be able to be a law officer in Florida again," said St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt.

According to the internal investigation, a relationship started in December 2009 and lasted until the girl came forward. They had sex multiple times in Bradenton, Gibsonton and St. Petersburg, the report said.

The girl decided to report Smith after the two had a fight via text message, the report said.

The girl's mother told police she believed her daughter and found it odd that Smith bought her personal items such as shampoo. Another relative said the girl had shared intimate details of the relationship with her.

In his resignation letter, Smith wrote that he was leaving "due to personal reasons." Smith, now 27, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

In August, a detective re-interviewed the girl, who stood by her accusations.

In September, a detective asked Smith to come in for another interview. He declined, the report said, saying he would not return to police headquarters "if his life depended on it."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.

St. Petersburg officer resigns over sexual allegations involving teenager 10/28/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 29, 2010 12:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Behind the Lens: To capture an exhilarating moment, it's better to be lucky AND good


    Editor's note: Boyzell Hosey, our Assistant Managing Editor - Photography/Multimedia, shot this image while on a family vacation in Alaska. Below is his description of the shot.

  2. Council candidate James Scott sees a green future for St. Petersburg

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG — James Scott's central tenet is sustainability.

    St. Petersburg City Council District 6 candidate James Scott. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   TIMES]
  3. O.J. Simpson drawing world attention during plea for freedom


    LOVELOCK, Nev. — Former football star and convicted felon O.J. Simpson will command the world's attention once again Thursday when he pleads for his freedom on live TV.

    In this June 21, 1995 file photo, O.J. Simpson holds up his hands before the jury after putting on a new pair of gloves similar to the infamous bloody gloves during his double-murder trial in Los Angeles. During Simpson's trial, a prosecutor famously asks him to put on a pair of gloves allegedly worn by the killer. The gloves appeared to be too tight, reinforcing the immortal words of defense attorney Johnnie Cochran: "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." [AP Photo/Vince Bucci, Pool]
  4. Florida education news: lawsuits, trans rights, recess and more


    ANOTHER ONE: Palm Beach County may be the next School Board to pick a legal fight with the state over the controversial HB 7069, but they may do it alone. Board members Wednesday seemed conflicted about whether to participate with other school boards, like Broward and St. Lucie counties, in a joint lawsuit or sue on …

    Ya'riah Ellison, 6, of Tampa, works on a pop art self portrait at the Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa on Friday, July 14, 2017. On Thursday, July 20th, a new pop art exhibition will open in which children will be able to create self portraits in a variety of ways including screen printing, pointillism and pop art methods
  5. Looking Back: The Ybor City Streetcar gets a new life (December 27, 1991)


    Before World War II Tampa's public transportation needs were covered by a network of Birney streetcars, with a peak of 24 million passengers in 1926. When a local streetcar enthusiast came across a 1920's model, she contacted the Tampa Trolley Society with an eye towards restoration. That streetcar would become the part …