Man accused of child sex abuse, child porn possession, human trafficking, pleads not guilty Monday

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A New Boston, Texas, man entered pleas of not guilty Monday to charges of human trafficking, child pornography possession and sexual assault of a child.

Robert Allen Smith, 34, appeared for arraignment Monday morning with Assistant Bowie County Public Defender Clayton Haas. After Haas entered the not guilty pleas, First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp asked 202nd District Judge John Tidwell to set the case for a jury trial in May.

“I don’t think we are going to be able to work this case out,” Crisp said. “The court has an open trial date for May 6 and we’re asking it be set for that date.”

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Tidwell agreed and scheduled the case for trial in May. He scheduled Smith to return to court Feb. 25 for a pretrial hearing.

A Bowie County grand jury indicted Smith on Jan. 10 for two counts of sexual assault of a child, a count of continuous trafficking of persons and a count of possession of child pornography. Bail on the trafficking and pornography charges was set at $500,000 on each count by Bowie County Justice of the Peace Nancy Talley. Smith remains in custody.

The abuse allegedly occurred while the girl was 15 to 17 years old.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Smith sent the girl a text message telling her to take a shower when he wanted to sexually abuse her. The girl told authorities that Smith often sexually abused her in the bathroom of her home.

The girl described being sexually assaulted and sodomized and alleged that Smith would ask that she urinate on his face. The girl allegedly told a forensic interviewer at the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center that Smith took nude photos of her in the bathroom of her mother’s home with a drone that he held in one hand while working the controls with the other.

The girl reported that Smith traveled with her across state lines during a summer while he was working as a commercial truck driver and that he sexually abused her in various locations during the trip. Images depicting the sexual exploitation of children were allegedly found after Smith’s electronic devices were seized by law enforcement.

If convicted of child pornography possession, Smith faces two to 10 years in prison. If convicted of sexual assault of a child, Smith faces two to 10 years on each of two counts. If found guilty of trafficking, Smith faces 25 to 99 years or life in prison.

There is no parole eligibility from a sentence for human trafficking in Texas. Smith must serve the entire amount of any sentence he receives.

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