Booking photo for Nicholas L. Smith (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).
LOGAN — A 36-year-old Nibley man has confessed to sexting with a teenage girl and posting pornographic photos of people to the internet without their consent. Nicholas L. Smith accepted a plea deal that could still send him to prison for up to 15 years.
Smith participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Wednesday morning, appearing by Webex with his attorney. He pleaded guilty to one count of enticing a minor over the internet and four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, all second-degree felonies; also three counts of distribution of pornography by an adult, a class A misdemeanor.
Defense attorney Ray Malouf explained that as part of the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop eight remaining charges. Smith was also allowed to remain out of jail until sentencing.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray told the court how Smith sexted with an underage girl, who lives in England. They had an online relationship for more than five years that started when the girl was 12-years-old. During that time, the victim sent the defendant numerous pornographic videos and photos of herself.
Smith also recorded himself having sex with people multiple times in Nibley and Logan Canyon. Some of the photos or videos were uploaded to the internet. The victims claimed they did not know they were being filmed and hadn’t given Smith permission to post the material online.
The crimes occurred between 2012 and 2017. Smith was originally arrested in 2018, when family members found “disturbing” text messages on his phone. The case has been on hold for years as attorneys worked out the plea deal.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Malouf said, Smith suffers from a health condition that may have impacted his impulse control. He is undergoing testing and treatment.
Smith spoke only briefly, telling the court he was willing to waive his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to the charges. During most of the hearing, he sat with his head down.
Judge Brian Cannell accepted Smith’s guilty pleas and scheduled sentencing for October 13.