Culpeper choir teacher charged with taking indecent liberties with child during sexting investigation | Crime News
A Culpeper choir director, public school teacher, singer and community leader has been charged with a second felony after he was arrested on Tuesday for using a communication system to facilitate offenses involving children.
Craig Alexander “Alex” Smith, 47, was charged Thursday with taking indecent liberties with a child by someone in a custodial or supervisory relationship, according to Lt. Culpeper County. It’s a felony under Virginia law.
Tyler said Thursday that Smith was being held without bail eligibility for the new charge.
According to the sheriff’s office, Smith – a Culpeper County high school choir teacher for less than a year – was arrested on July 12 after the agency received a report from the mother of a 16-year-old man. that a Culpeper High School teacher may have been grooming his son for sexual activity. The mother said the teacher gave her son a cell phone and he was coming home from work, the sheriff’s office said.
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Smith, who taught at the summer school, discussed the allegations with sheriff’s deputies and admitted to providing the cellphone and asking for nude photos of the teenager, police said.
The school system released Smith from his job on July 13.
Smith was also a longtime worship and choir leader at Culpeper Baptist, one of the city’s largest churches, and led the regional Blue Ridge Chorale.
Pastor Dan Carlton did not immediately respond Thursday to a Culpeper Star-Exponent inquiry regarding Smith’s status on his church’s faculty. Smith’s portrait has been removed from the church’s website.
“We stand ready to cooperate fully with the sheriff’s office and assist anyone who is concerned about or is the victim of inappropriate or unlawful conduct involving children,” Carlton said in a statement Wednesday.
Smith, originally from Culpeper, studied music at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He has been active for many years in various presentations of music and theater for all ages.
Culpeper Sheriff’s Lt. Marshall Keene and School Resources Officer Vernon Carter lead the investigation into Smith. They ask anyone with information about other victims or potential incidents to contact the sheriff’s office at 540/727-7520 or MKeene@CulpeperCounty.gov.