Memphis Pastor Indicted on Child Pornography Charges
MEMPHIS, TN—A Memphis pastor has been indicted on child pornography possession charges. The indictment was announced by Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
According to the indictment, between August 2014 and May 2015, Demarcus Smith coerced a male under the age of 18 to photograph himself engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Smith, 32, asked the minor male to send him sexual images via cellphone on numerous occasions.
Smith is a pastor at Oak Hill Missionary Baptist Church in South Memphis. He’s also a member of the Baptist Ministerial Association.
He has been charged with one count of coercion and solicitation of a minor; one count of production of child pornography; and one count of receipt of child pornography.
- Smith faces a minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment if convicted of coercion/solicitation of a minor.
- Smith faces a minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment if convicted of production of child pornography.
- Smith faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment if convicted of receipt of child pornography
- Smith faces up to $250,000 in fines per offense of conviction.
The case is being investigated by the Memphis Child Exploitation Task Force. The collective is comprised of Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security
Investigations; Shelby County Sheriff’s Department; Memphis Police Department; U.S. Postal Investigation Service; U.S. Marshals Service; and the United States Secret Service.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Ireland is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.
Anyone who believes they may have information about this case or related activities is asked to contact the Memphis Child Exploitation Task Force at 901.747.4300.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab “resources.”
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.