Former SE Polk teacher sentenced to 24 years in federal prison for sexual abuse of student

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Abraham Smith (WHO 13)

DES MOINES, IOWA — A former teacher at Southeast Polk High School could spend more than two decades in federal prison for carrying on a sexual relationship with a minor student. On Tuesday, 39-year-old Abraham Christopher Smith was sentenced to 288 months – or 24 years – in prison after pleading guilty to Enticement of a Minor in federal court.

Smith was arrested last October after a 15-year-old student came forward with allegations that he had sexually abused her. The investigation revealed that Smith had recorded a sex act with student on his cell phone and requested and received sexual messages from the student. Polk County authorities dropped charges when the federal government became involved.

Acting US Attorney Richard D. Westphal released a statement after the successful prosecution saying this case should be a warning to anyone working in the school systems who is preying on children: “A teacher sexually exploiting a student is a very serious crime. Students must be safe at school. Parents deserve to have confidence that educators to whom they entrust their children are not preying on them. This prosecution and sentence should send a message to any school staff member contemplating exploiting a minor that the consequences may be decades in prison.”

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