DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The former soccer coach who did not show up for closing arguments in his trial has been found guilty.
Justin Smith, 41, was found guilty Friday on eight counts including unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, two counts of sexual battery and two counts of sexual imposition.
“He coached her to stay silent about his abuses and manipulations. That kind of coaching is criminal. Today the courts are shining lights on his darkness,” said Judge Erik Blaine.
The coach was a part of the SWARM Soccer Club in Germantown and the victim was a minor, according to a press release from the Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The prosecuting office said the offense did not occur at his former place of employment, which is Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services. The Board of Developmental Disabilities says he resigned from that position in July and no longer works there.
Smith began coaching the victim when she was eight years old.
According to Greg Flannagan, Public Information Officer with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, Justin Smith “tampered” with his ankle monitor bracelet during the lunch break Wednesday and failed to return when closing arguments began.
The last GPS signal officials received from him was in Franklin, Ohio.
“We are concerned for his safety. We hope he didn’t do anything rash or anything to hurt himself. I’d like to see him come back and finish this case up,” said defense attorney, Michael Booher.
Lead defense attorney, Adam Arnold plans to fight some of the charges if Smith returns to face his sentence.
“He was – most clients get a little nervous when we head to trial. Nobody is happy to be in there. I think he conducted himself as he has in the 6 months that I have known him, which was calm and collected,” said Arnold.
A nationwide warrant was issued for his arrest and his bond has been revoked.
Sentencing in the case has been delayed until Smith is found.
“This was not a tough case. All the facts were there. This was open and shut from the beginning,” said prosecutor, Dylan Smearcheck.