Wednesday, February 4, 2009

CA: Willits teacher arrested on child sexual abuse charges

By Linda Williams/TWN Staff Writer
Posted: 02/04/2009 10:51:41 AM PST

Clinton Douglas Smith, 38, of Willits, was arrested Thursday afternoon, January 29, on suspicion of committing lewd acts with a child and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 years of age, oral copulation with a child under 16, and sexual penetration with a child under 16. Bail was set at $50,000 and Smith remains in Mendocino County Jail. A plea hearing is scheduled tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. in Mendocino County Superior Court in Willits.

Smith is a math and science teacher at the Willits Charter School, and for the past seven years a soccer coach, most recently coaching girls aged 14 to 16.

Willits Police Department began investigating the alleged sexual misconduct when notified by the school on January 13. According to police, Smith was allegedly involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female victim for several months. The case was referred to the Mendocino County District Attorney's office for action and an arrest warrant for Smith was issued January 29.

According to school officials, the school is cooperating fully with law enforcement, and once the school became aware of the alleged misconduct, Smith was not allowed to work with children.

The Willits Police Department requests anyone with information on this case to contact Sgt Jake Donahue at 459-6122.

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