Man sentenced to prison for attempted luring

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BENNINGTON — A local man who asked a 14-year-old girl to send him nude photos of herself has been sentenced to up to four years in prison.

Charles E. Smith Jr., 24, pleaded guilty in Vermont Superior Court Bennington criminal division on Oct. 3 to a felony count of attempted luring of a child for sexual exploitation, and two misdemeanor counts of possessing child pornography.

On Friday, Judge David A. Howard sentenced Smith to two to four years for the felony charge.

Bennington police were contacted in July 2016 by an investigator with Vermont Department for Children and Families, Detective Anthony Silvestro wrote in an affidavit. An investigator found evidence that a teenage girl in May had exchanged nude photos of herself with someone through Facebook.

The girl told police she sent photos to a man she knew, who she identified as Smith.

Records provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children showed online conversations through Smith's Facebook account in which Smith asked the girl to take and send photos of herself, according to the affidavit. Smith "went as far as to direct [the girl] to what positions he wanted her to pose in," Silvestro wrote.

Smith was on probation at the time. He was convicted of felony aggravated assault in June 2015 and received a two-year deferred sentence, court records show. For that case, Smith also last week admitted to a probation violation and had his probation revoked.

Under a plea agreement, the state dismissed a felony count of promoting a sexual recording, and six misdemeanor counts of possessing child pornography.

Deputy State's Attorney Alexander Burke prosecuted the case. Smith was represented by T. Lamar Enzor.

Ed Damon can be reached at edamon@benningtonbanner.com, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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