Make us your home page
Instagram

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 thalji@sptimes.com 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

Loading...
  1. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year

    Military

    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  2. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'

    K12

    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. [iStockphoto.com]
  3. Ernest Hooper: Removing Confederate symbols doesn't eliminate persistent mindset

    Human Interest

    The debate has begun about removing a Confederate statue from outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse, and its removal is long overdue.

    Robert E. Lee Elementary, 305 E. Columbus Drive in Tampa, originally opened its doors in the early 1910s as the Michigan Avenue Grammar School. [Times file]
  4. What you need to know for Monday, May 29

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    In the weeks before Memorial Day, cemetery caretaker Gary Iles and the staff at Bay Pines National Cemetery are busy preparing the sprawling property for the annual ceremony honoring the fallen. Iles, an Army veteran who started out as a volunteer at Bay Pines, says working at the cemetery is a way for him to continue serving those who died for their country. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival wraps up with Above and Beyond, more at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    The first numbers trickled in on Sunday, and they didn't look great.

    Louis the Child performed at the Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium on May 28, 2017.