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Holly Man Faces Child Porn Charges

Former Royal Oak Cop Michael Smith is expected to be arraigned this afternoon on 20 counts resulting from a state task force investigation, Michigan Attorney General's Office says.

The state Attorney General's office charged a Holly man and former Royal Oak Police officer with 20 counts for the alleged possession and distribution of child pornography.

From September 2011 through January 2012, it is alleged that then-Royal Oak Police Officer Michael Smith, 41, of Holly, downloaded and possessed child pornography on his personal home computer. Smith allegedly distributed some pornographic images to other users through a public Internet file-sharing network, according to a news release from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Smith’s bond was set at $50,000, 10 percent allowed, during arraignment Thursday afternoon in front of 52-2 District Judge Kelly Costin, the Oakland Press reported. He was expected to post bond later Thursday. A pre-exam conference is scheduled for May 18.

Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said he was notified in January by the Flint Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with a request for information about Smith and to assist with a search warrant.

“I was present when they executed the warrant” on Jan. 25, O’Donohue said.

Smith resigned from the  in January after being confronted, according to O'Donohue.

When images were found on Smith’s computer, the chief said he informed Smith that he would “move for termination.”

“He immediately resigned,” O’Donohue said, adding “All the activity was done in his home. Nothing occurred while he was working.”

The charges result from an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The Michigan ICAC Task Force is part of a nationwide partnership of law enforcement agencies with the mission of protecting children online and holding offenders accountable. This particular case involved the Department of Attorney General, the Michigan State Police and members of the Flint area ICAC task force, the AG release stated.

"Child pornography victimizes our kids over and over again, and Michigan will not be a haven for this terrible corruption of innocent children," Schuette said.

The images on Smith's computer were discovered through an online investigation by the Flint area ICAC task force, which utilizes sophisticated technology to identify alleged purveyors of child pornography in Michigan.

Smith faces 20 charges, including:

  • 15 counts of possession of child sexually abusive materials, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison
  • two counts of distribution of child sexually abusive materials, a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison
  • three counts of using a computer to commit a crime, a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison based on the underlying felonies listed above.

Smith was a patrol officer in Royal Oak for about 12 years, O’Donohue told the Oakland Press. He described Smith as a “marginal employee.”

“He was a guy who kind of flew under the radar,” the police chief said.

Smith’s alleged behavior is not tolerated in the police department, O’Donohue said. “It took us all by surprise,” he said.

O’Donohue called today a bad day for law enforcement, but stressed, “He is one individual. He is not the Royal Oak Police Department.”

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