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Former deputy coroner allegedly paid boy for sexual favors, authorities charge

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, 9:33 a.m.

A former deputy coroner in Carbon and Schuykill counties is facing a new round of charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

The charges of unlawful contact with a minor, statutory sexual assault and other offenses follow Edward Smith's initial arrest for unlawful contact with a minor in September.

When Smith was arrested, investigators allegedly found images of a boy on Smith's cell phone.

Smith, 60, of Tamaqua, said he knew the child and gave his name to investigators, Shapiro said. Agents interviewed the boy, who said that Smith had sexual contact with him multiple times when he was 14 and 15 years old.

“This child was horrifically assaulted on multiple occasions,” Shapiro said. “I have zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of children in Pennsylvania and my office will aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who abuses children — no matter who commits the crime.”

Smith's alleged sexual abuse of the boy began in 2015 and happened at Smith's home in Tamaqua. Authorities say Smith paid the boy to pose for the photos he took on his phone, and for sexual favors under the guise of receiving payment for legitimate work.

Smith is being held in pre-trial detention at the Luzerne County Prison in connection with his initial arrest. Bail in the new case was set at $250,000.

A preliminary hearing on the latest charges is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, or on Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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