Coolville man pleads guilty to attempting to meet teen for sex

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — A Coolville man who allegedly attempted to meet at teenager for sex earlier this year has pleaded guilty.

Michael B. Smith, of Coolville, pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree felony charge of importuning as indicted by a Meigs County Grand Jury in February.

Smith had also been indicted on a fifth-degree felony charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, which was dismissed as part of the plea.

According to the plea agreement, a joint sentencing recommendation is to be made for five years of community control with the condition that Smith complete the SEPTA sex offender program. He must also register as a Tier I sex offender and stay away from the victim in the case.

Meigs County Victim Advocate Theda Petrasko said the family of the victim in the case is in agreement with the resolution.

According to previous Sentinel reports, Smith was arrested on Jan. 6 outside a residence where he was allegedly going to meet a 13-year-old in order to engage in sex.

The Family Violence Unit, School Resource Division of the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office along with help from the Meigs County Children’s Services, began the investigation after learning that Smith had allegedly been communicating with the 13-year-old via social media.

Deputies reportedly discovered that Smith had allegedly sent pictures of his genitalia, as well as solicited the 13-year-old on several occasions.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 17, with a pre-sentence investigation, SEPTA evaluation and community control evaluation to be completed prior to sentencing.

By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.