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Friday, May 11, 2012

Former Police Officer Accused of Downloading, Sharing Child Porn

Former Royal Oak officer accused of downloading, sharing child porn 
The Detroit Free Press by Eric D. Lawrence  -  May 10, 2012

A former Royal Oak police officer is accused of downloading child pornography on his home computer and sharing some pornographic images with others through an Internet file-sharing network, according to a news release from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. Michael Smith, 41, of Holly Township faces 20 charges, including possession of child sexually abusive materials, distribution of child sexually abusive materials and using a computer to commit a crime, the release said. Smith was arraigned today in 52-2 District Court in Independence Township, where bail was set at 10% of $50,000. As a condition of his bail, Smith is not allowed to use alcohol, computers or have any access to the Internet. Possible penalties for the charges range from four to seven years in prison each. The images were discovered by the Flint Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes members of the Flint Police Department, Michigan State Police and U.S. Secret Service. Smith is accused of downloading the material between September 2011 and January 2012. Royal Oak Interim Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said he learned of the investigation in January when the task force was trying to confirm Smith’s status as an officer. O’Donohue said that Smith was told, following a search of his house, that the department would start the process to terminate him, and Smith resigned on the spot on Jan. 25. O’Donohue described Smith, a 12-year patrol officer with the department, as “the kind of guy who tried to fly under the radar a little bit” but not someone who had any discipline problems. But O’Donohue said the accusations were a shock, saying Smith is not reflective of the 65-officer department. “This is a horrendous crime. Although it’s images, there’s still victims involved here. It’s a disgusting habit or fetish or however you want to describe it. I’m embarrassed we have to deal with it,” O’Donohue said. “He’s going to pay the appropriate penalty for what he did, and he deserves what’s coming to him.” Smith could not be reached for comment. Contact Eric D. Lawrence:

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