1. News

Former Pasco teacher accused of trying to set up sexual encounter with teen girl

Robert Edward Smith, 61, was a teacher at Land O’Lakes High.
Robert Edward Smith, 61, was a teacher at Land O’Lakes High.
Published Aug. 29, 2014

BROOKSVILLE — A former Pasco County high school teacher was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he tried to set up a sexual encounter with a teenage girl via an online chat.

Robert Edward Smith, 61, of San Antonio is accused of engaging in long-term computer chats with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

During the conversations, authorities said he and the girl talked about sexual activity and what sorts of acts he would like to perform on the girl. On Monday, he requested a meeting with the girl, and the two agreed to meet at the Holiday Inn Express on Cortez Boulevard west of Brooksville.

Deputies intercepted him at the hotel before the meeting took place.

They found a plastic sandwich bag in his front pants pocket containing a Viagra pill. In his pickup, they found blue Mountain Dew and a box of Trojan condoms.

According to deputies, Smith admitted to knowing the girl was underage. He admitted he had planned on giving her a massage and that he had prepared to engage in sexual intercourse with the girl.

Smith was arrested on charges of attempted lewd and lascivious behavior, traveling to meet and seduce a minor, and using a computer to solicit a minor. He was being held Thursday at the Hernando County Detention Center in lieu of $17,000 bail.

Smith was a teacher of agriculture and history at Land O'Lakes High School, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating whether there might be other victims.

Contact Danny Valentine at or (352) 848-1432. Follow @HernandoTimes.